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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Lewisburg 24901

Lewisburg WV physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Lewisburg WV is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Lewisburg WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Lewisburg WV private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try 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
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Lewisburg WV medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often 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

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lewisburg WVWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lewisburg WV residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Lewisburg WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose 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 just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Lewisburg WV physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lewisburg WV area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Lewisburg WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Lewisburg healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering 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 an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Lewisburg WV home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lewisburg WV area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lewisburg West Virginia?

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

Lewisburg, West Virginia

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.81 square miles (9.87 km2), of which 3.80 square miles (9.84 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1] Much of it is within the karst belt and a sinkhole is gated over at an intersection. It is part of the Davis Spring subwatershed, site of the state's largest spring with a daily output of one million gallons.

Historic Lewisburg is centered at the crossroads of U.S. Route 60, historically called The Midland Trail, and U.S. Route 219. Interstate 64's intersection with U.S. Route 219 near the northern border of the town has drawn most modern development into that area.

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lewisburg has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[8]

Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Lewisburg WV

Deciding on the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Lewisburg WV.

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