How to Select a Physical Therapy School near West Mclean 22103
Earning a physical therapy degree near West Mclean VA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including West Mclean VA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other West Mclean VA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the West Mclean VA 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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 near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s West Mclean VA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the West Mclean VA area and throughout Virginia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into 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 organizations for their reviews also. Contact several West Mclean VA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the West Mclean VA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with West Mclean VA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the West Mclean medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their West Mclean VA residence. Students who have chosen 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. One thing to keep 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 often 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Mclean VA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near West Mclean Virginia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the West Mclean VA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
McLean (/məˈkleɪn/ mə-KLAYN) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. McLean is home to many diplomats, businessmen, members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partially due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the Central Intelligence Agency. It is the location of Hickory Hill, the former home of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. It is also the location of Salona, the former home of Light-Horse Harry Lee, the Revolutionary War hero. The community had an estimated total population of 53,673 in 2015, according to estimates prepared by the United States Census Bureau. It is located between the Potomac River and the town of Vienna. McLean is known for its luxury homes and its nearby high-end shopping destinations: the Tysons Corner Center and the Tysons Galleria. The two McLean zip codes - 22101 and 22102 - are among the most expensive ZIP Codes in Virginia and the United States. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that McLean was the 3rd wealthiest city in the United States, based on its poverty rate of 2.6% and its median household income of $190,258.
The community received its name from John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of The Washington Post. Along with Stephen Benton Elkins and French aristocrat Jean-Pierre Guenard, in 1902 he bought the charter for the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad. Completed in 1906, it connected the area with Washington, D.C. McLean named a railroad station costing $1,500, of which $500 was raised locally, after himself where the rail line (traveling on the present route of Old Dominion Drive) crossed the old Chain Bridge Road. The community itself was founded in 1910, when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged.
McLean is located at 38°56′03″N 77°10′39″W / 38.93417°N 77.17750°W / 38.93417; -77.17750 (38.9342776, -77.1774801) at an elevation of 285 feet (87 m). Located on the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) in Northern Virginia, central McLean is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of downtown Washington, D.C. and 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Fairfax, the county seat.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near West Mclean VA
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in West Mclean VA.
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