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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Madison 25130

Madison WV physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Madison WV is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Madison WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Madison WV private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent 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.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Madison WV medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Madison 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 alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Madison WV area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable 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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Madison WVWhile not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Madison WV home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools 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.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Madison WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 select an online program, it can also receive 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, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Call several Madison WV physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Madison WV area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary 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 exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Madison WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Madison health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Madison WV home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

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

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Madison WV area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Madison West Virginia?

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

Madison, West Virginia

Madison was first established as Boone Court House. The town was renamed about 1865, presumably for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. Other theories hold that it was named for lawyer James Madison Laidley or for Madison Peyton, a pioneer coal operator, who was a leader in the movement which resulted in the formation of Boone County and for whom Peytona on Big Coal River was also named. Madison was incorporated in 1906.[7]

The first courthouse at Madison, a log structure, was burned by Union troops early in the American Civil War. The second courthouse, made of local brick, served until 1913, and a frame building was used by county officials for the next several years. The present Boone County Courthouse, occupied in 1921, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

Madison is the "Gateway to the Coalfields," as it is located on a principal route through the southern coalfields. It occupied a strategic place during the Mine Wars. Miners twice rallied at the town ballpark in August 1921, to consider whether to continue their march to neighboring Logan and Mingo counties. Thousands of armed marchers passed through the town and surrounding region on their way to and from the fighting at Blair Mountain, which is located up Spruce Fork from Madison.[7]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Madison WV

Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see 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 practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Madison WV.

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