How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Tunnelton 26444
Getting a physical therapist degree near Tunnelton WV is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Tunnelton WV private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Tunnelton WV medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Tunnelton WV area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Tunnelton WV home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Tunnelton WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Tunnelton WV 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 might also be prudent to check with the West 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Tunnelton WV area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for West Virginia 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Tunnelton WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Tunnelton health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Tunnelton WV home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tunnelton WV area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tunnelton West Virginia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tunnelton WV area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tunnelton, West Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 294 people, 110 households, and 74 families residing in the town. The population density was 864.7 inhabitants per square mile (333.9/km2). There were 117 housing units at an average density of 344.1 per square mile (132.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 99.0% White, 0.3% African American, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
There were 110 households of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.7% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.09.
The median age in the town was 38 years. 25.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 12.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Tunnelton WV
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with 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 have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Tunnelton WV.
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