Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Harpers Ferry WV

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Harpers Ferry 25425

Harpers Ferry WV physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Harpers Ferry WV is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to 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’s Job Description?

Harpers Ferry WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Harpers Ferry WV private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Harpers Ferry WV medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Harpers Ferry WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Harpers Ferry WV area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Harpers Ferry WVWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Harpers Ferry WV home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, 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 Harpers Ferry WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Harpers Ferry WV physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Harpers Ferry WV area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Harpers Ferry WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great 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 may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Harpers Ferry health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Harpers Ferry WV residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Harpers Ferry WV area, make certain 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Harpers Ferry West Virginia?

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

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry, population 286 at the 2010 census, is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States, in the lower Shenandoah Valley. It was formerly spelled Harper's Ferry with an apostrophe β€”in the 18th century it was the ferry owned and run by Robert Harper β€” and that form continues to appear in some references.[6] It is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, where the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. It is the easternmost town in West Virginia and during the Civil War the northernmost point of Confederate-controlled territory. (The northernmost Virginia city of Wheeling was strongly anti-slavery, and was the first capital of the breakaway region that became West Virginia.) The town's original, lower section is on a flood plain created by the two rivers and surrounded by higher ground.

The lower part of Harpers Ferry is within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Most of the remainder, which includes the more highly populated area, is included in the separate Harpers Ferry Historic District. Two other National Register of Historic Places properties adjoin the town: the B & O Railroad Potomac River Crossing and St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church. Harpers Ferry and the adjoining town of Bolivar, though legally two distinct municipalities, together form one large town.

Because of its geography, Harpers Ferry was a vitally important junction point. In colonial times and through the early U.S. years, its location at the junction of two rivers, and the feasibility of a ferry – the first regular ferry across the Potomac, antedating the founding of Washington – made it a natural site of commerce. Harpers Ferry has a commanding central location on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, running alongside the Potomac and avoiding its rapids, linking Washington with points west.

Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Harpers Ferry WV

Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following 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 proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Harpers Ferry WV.

A Few More Interesting Locations in West Virginia

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