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

How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Chester 26034

Chester WV physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Chester WV is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to 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 get the appropriate 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 necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Chester WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Chester WV private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Chester WV medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Chester WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Chester WV area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Chester WVWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Chester WV residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Chester WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Chester WV physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Chester WV area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both superior 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Chester WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Chester health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Chester WV home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

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

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chester WV area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Chester West Virginia?

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

Chester, West Virginia

Chester is a city in Hancock County, West Virginia, United States, along the Ohio River. Chester is the northernmost incorporated city in both West Virginia and the Southern United States as defined by the Census Bureau. The population was 2,585 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Chester is located at 40°36′46″N 80°33′46″W / 40.61278°N 80.56278°W / 40.61278; -80.56278 (40.612792, -80.562771).[6] At the outbreak of hostilities of the American Civil War in April 1861, this location was part of Virginia and was the northernmost point in any slave state. Chester remains the northernmost point in the Southern United States, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, yet is located at the same latitude as parts of New York City.

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,585 people, 1,209 households, and 696 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,585.0 inhabitants per square mile (998.1/km2). There were 1,381 housing units at an average density of 1,381.0 per square mile (533.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.0% White, 0.4% African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Chester WV

Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active 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 be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Chester WV.

A Few More Interesting Locations in West Virginia

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