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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Bridgeport 26330

Bridgeport WV physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Bridgeport WV is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Bridgeport WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Bridgeport WV private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of 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 patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Bridgeport WV medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Bridgeport WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Bridgeport WV area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable 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 present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bridgeport WVAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so 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 close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bridgeport WV home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Bridgeport WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Bridgeport WV physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bridgeport WV area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for West Virginia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy 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 additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Bridgeport WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Bridgeport medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Bridgeport WV residence. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. One thing to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

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

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bridgeport WV area, make certain that they are available. 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bridgeport West Virginia?

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

Bridgeport, West Virginia

The town of Bridgeport had its beginning in pre-American Revolutionary War times. In 1764, John Simpson entered the area and gave his name to Simpson Creek. Bridgeport was chartered in 1816. When the town was incorporated in 1887, it established the office of mayor and town council. The city currently employs a City Manager. Bridgeport is home to Meadowbrook Mall, a 100-store regional shopping complex serving North-Central West Virginia.

Bridgeport originally got its name from a cartographer's mistake. Settled in the mid-1700s by early fur traders who came west over the Allegheny Mountains, settlers were forced to build forts to protect themselves from the elements, as well as from Native Americans who didn’t care for the intrusion on their lands. Thus, as legend has it, what was known as Bridge Fort was mistakenly deemed Bridgeport. [1][dubious – discuss]

On June 29, 2006, the city became noted as the site of a showdown over the issue of separation of church and state in the United States. A portrait of Jesus originally hung on a wall at Bridgeport High School. Two parents filed suit in federal court to have the portrait removed, after the Harrison County Board of Education deadlocked over whether to remove the portrait.[2][permanent dead link] The portrait of Jesus was stolen from Bridgeport High School early in the morning on August 17, 2006 and a mirror was put in its place. [3]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bridgeport WV

Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to 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 accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Bridgeport WV.

A Few More Interesting Locations in West Virginia

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