How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Course near Washington District of Columbia
Earning a physical therapist degree near Washington DC is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Washington DC private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Washington DC medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Washington DC area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Washington DC home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Washington DC area and across District of Columbia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Washington DC physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the District of Columbia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Washington DC area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for District of Columbia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Washington DC clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Washington health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Washington DC home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Washington DC area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Washington District of Columbia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Washington DC area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017[update], making it the 20th largest American city by population. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
How Many Years For Physical Therapy Degree Washington DC
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Many Years For Physical Therapy Degree. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Washington DC.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in District of Columbia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 884