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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Buckhannon 26201

Buckhannon WV physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Buckhannon WV is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Buckhannon WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Buckhannon WV hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Buckhannon WV medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Buckhannon WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable 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. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Buckhannon WV area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Buckhannon WVAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Buckhannon WV home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Buckhannon WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Buckhannon WV physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Buckhannon WV area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes 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 every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Buckhannon WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Buckhannon medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? 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 permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Buckhannon WV home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Buckhannon WV area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option 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 as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Buckhannon West Virginia?

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

Buckhannon, West Virginia

Buckhannon is the only incorporated city in, and the county seat of, Upshur County, West Virginia, United States,[6] and is located along the Buckhannon River. The population was 5,639 at the 2010 census. Buckhannon is home to West Virginia Wesleyan College and the West Virginia Strawberry Festival, held annually on the third week of May. The city is located 115 miles northeast from the capital city of Charleston and 140 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Sago Mine collapse occurred near Buckhannon on January 2, 2006, resulting in the deaths of 12 of 13 trapped miners. At the time, it was one of the worst mining accidents in the United States for several years and attracted national news coverage.

The history of Upshur County begins with the settlement of the Buckhannon River Valley. Brothers Samuel and John Pringle were English soldiers serving in the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) who, in 1761, deserted their post at Fort Pitt (present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). They traveled southward and upstream along the Monongahela and Tygart Valley rivers, continuing up what is now called the Buckhannon River. They were said to have arrived in present-day Upshur County in 1764 and took up living in a huge hollow of an American sycamore. They lived there for three years, living off game and fish. Finally one went out for more ammunition and found the war was over. After his return, they moved to the South Branch settlements. John later went to Kentucky, but Samuel returned to the river valley with his new wife Charity Pringle (née Cutright), her brother John Jr., friends Thomas Hughes, and John and Elizabeth Jackson with their sons George and Edward. (Edward was the grandfather of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.)

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Buckhannon WV

Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical 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 other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Buckhannon WV.

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