Category Archives: Oklahoma

Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Westville OK

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Westville 74965

Westville OK physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Westville OK is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled 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 acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Westville OK physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Westville OK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Westville OK health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Westville OK physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Westville OK area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Westville OKAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Westville OK home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Westville OK area and throughout Oklahoma, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Westville OK physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Oklahoma Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Westville OK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Westville OK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Westville health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Westville OK residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Westville OK area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Westville Oklahoma?

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

Westville, Oklahoma

Before statehood, Westville was a community in the Goingsnake District of the Cherokee Nation. The town was founded in 1895, when the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (later acquired by the Kansas City Southern Railroad) was constructing a rail line from Kansas City to the Gulf Coast. The Westville post office was established on November 18, 1895. The town name honored Jim West, who lived one mile south of nearby Cincinnati, Arkansas, and whose son, Jim West, Jr., was an attorney for the Kansas City Southern Railway.[4]

When Adair County was formed in 1907, Westville was identified as the county seat, due partly to its location at the intersection of two major railroads: the Kansas City Southern Railway and the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway.[5] The county seat was moved to Stilwell in 1910.[6]

Westville is located at 35°59′29″N 94°34′16″W / 35.99139°N 94.57111°W / 35.99139; -94.57111 (35.991414, -94.571088).[7] It is 13 miles (21 km) north of Stilwell and 15 miles (24 km) south of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.[4]

Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Westville OK

Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Westville OK.

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