Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Beckley WV

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Beckley 25801

Beckley WV physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Beckley WV is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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?

Beckley WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Beckley WV hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Beckley WV medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Beckley WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered 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 short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Beckley WV area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Beckley WVAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work 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 part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Beckley WV home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Beckley WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Beckley WV physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Beckley WV area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for West Virginia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Beckley WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Beckley healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller 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 classes. 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 some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Beckley WV home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Beckley WV 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 courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Beckley West Virginia?

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

Beckley, West Virginia

Beckley is a city in and the county seat of Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States. It was founded on April 4, 1838.[6] Beckley was named in honor of John James Beckley, who was the first Clerk of the House of Representatives and the first Librarian of Congress. It was founded by his son Alfred Beckley (US Army general and Confederate militia commander, born in Washington, D.C.). The current mayor is Rob Rappold.[7]

Although founded in 1838, Beckley existed only on paper at that time, "Alfred Beckley said he "was frequently jeered and laughed at for his Paper Town..."[8] Early in its history, the town was known as Beckley, Raleigh Court House, and, occasionally, Beckleyville. The town was originally located in Fayette County, Virginia. In 1850 the act of the Virginia legislature creating Raleigh County named Beckley the county seat. The city is sometimes called the "Smokeless Coal Capital", "The City of Champions" and the "Gateway To Southern West Virginia."[citation needed] Beckley had the first "community antenna" television system in the United States, a forerunner of cable television.[citation needed]

During the presidential primaries of 1960, the vehicles of rivals John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey stopped at the same streetcorner in Beckley. Recognizing each other, the two men got out and chatted briefly.[9]

Select the Best Physical Therapist College near Beckley WV

Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college 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 options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Beckley WV.

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