Category Archives: Virginia

Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Winchester VA

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Winchester 22601

Winchester VA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Winchester VA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must 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 research those you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides 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?

Winchester VA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Winchester VA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Winchester VA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Winchester VA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals 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 concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Winchester VA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent 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 normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Winchester VAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Winchester VA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many 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 disciplined enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Winchester VA area and throughout Virginia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 as well. Contact several Winchester VA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Winchester VA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Winchester VA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Winchester healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges 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 as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Winchester VA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Winchester VA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Winchester Virginia?

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

Winchester, Virginia

Winchester is an independent city located in the northwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,203.[4] As of 2015, its population is an estimated 27,284.[5] It is the county seat of Frederick County,[6] although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Winchester with surrounding Frederick County for statistical purposes.

Winchester is the principal city of the Winchester, Virginia-West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a part of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area. Winchester is home to Shenandoah University and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

Indigenous peoples lived along the waterways of present-day Virginia for thousands of years before European contact. Archeological, linguistic and anthropological studies have provided insights into their cultures. Though little is known of specific tribal movements before European contact, the Shenandoah Valley area, considered a sacred common hunting ground, appears by the 17th century to have been controlled mostly by the local Iroquoian-speaking groups, including the Senedo and Sherando.

Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Winchester VA

Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Winchester VA.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 19

    Pro Physical Therapy
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