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Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Wesson MS

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Wesson 39191

Wesson MS physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Wesson MS is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Wesson MS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Wesson MS private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Wesson MS health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Wesson MS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Wesson MS area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Wesson MSAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wesson MS residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Wesson MS area and across Mississippi, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Wesson MS physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Mississippi Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wesson MS area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Mississippi or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Wesson MS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Wesson healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Wesson MS residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wesson MS area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wesson Mississippi?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wesson MS area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Wesson, Mississippi

The town of Wesson was founded in 1864, during the Civil War, by Col. James Madison Wesson. Having lost his mills at Bankston, Wesson relocated to the town that now bears his name. There he built the Mississippi Manufacturing Company which produced a fine quality cotton fabric. In 1871 he sold the mill to William Oliver and John T. Hardy who renamed it the Mississippi Mills.

The mills became famous for the quality of cotton fabric produced which was dubbed "Mississippi silk" at the Centennial celebration of 1876. A product of the Industrial Revolution, the mills in Wesson began to utilize the new technology of the rapidly changing age. One year after Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb, the Mississippi Mills put them to use. It was said that passengers on the evening train would rush to the windows when passing through Wesson in order to see the marvelous lights.

This prosperity, however, came to an end after the death of Captain Oliver in 1891. Financial difficulties followed by the economic Panic of 1893, family conflict, and labor disputes caused the mills to fall into receivership in the early 1900s. Eventually, the mills were dismantled and sold for scrap during the First World War.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Wesson MS

Deciding on the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional 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 fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Wesson MS.

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