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

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Fairmont 26554

Fairmont WV physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Fairmont WV is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Fairmont WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Fairmont WV private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Fairmont WV health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degrees Available

Fairmont WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Fairmont WV area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become 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 degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing 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 implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Fairmont WVAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fairmont WV home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Fairmont WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Fairmont WV physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Fairmont WV area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Fairmont WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience 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 relationships in the Fairmont healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Fairmont WV home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fairmont WV area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fairmont West Virginia?

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

Fairmont, West Virginia

Prior to the founding of Fairmont, the land that would become Marion County was part of Monongalia and Harrison County.[6] In the 1700s, the earliest development of this area consisted of subsistence farming settlements.[7] In 1789, Boaz Fleming, a Revolutionary War veteran, migrated to this area and purchased a 254-acre farm from Jonathan Bozarth. Oral history indicates that in 1808, Fleming made his annual trek to Clarksburg to pay his brother's Harrison County taxes.[8] While in Clarksburg, Fleming attended a social gathering that included his cousin, Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison. Fleming complained to Mrs. Madison about having to travel over a hundred miles each year from his home to pay his Monongalia County taxes and his brother's Harrison County taxes. Mrs. Madison supposedly suggested that he create his own county to save him all that travel. In 1814, Fleming circulated a petition to do precisely that, naming the proposed county Madison County, in honor of Dolley and James Madison.

Milford (now Rivesville[9]) was the only town within the borders of Fleming's proposed county, so Fleming decided to make Milford the seat of Madison County.[10] However, Milford's citizens preferred to remain part of Monongalia County. As a result, Fleming's petition failed to gain sufficient support to be presented to the Virginia General Assembly. Fleming then focused on creating a new town near his farm, which was located on the west side of the Monongahela River. In 1817, Fleming's sons—William and David—began to clear land on part of their father's farm to make way for the new town; this part of the farm would later become downtown Fairmont. In 1819, a road was built from Clarksburg to Morgantown. Fleming's new town was about halfway between the two cities, making it a good resting point. The town was incorporated as Middletown on January 19, 1820. It is unknown if the town was called Middletown because of its location midway between Clarksburg and Morgantown or because Fleming's first wife, Elizabeth Hutchinson, was originally from Middletown, Delaware.

The current borders of Marion County were established in 1842, and Middletown was named the county's seat. At that time, William Haymond, Jr. suggested that the town's name be changed to Fairmont because the town had a beautiful overlook of the Monongahela River, giving it a "fair mount." The Borough of Fairmont was incorporated in 1843 by the Virginia General Assembly.[11]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Fairmont WV

Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Fairmont WV.

A Few More Interesting Locations in West Virginia

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