Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – New Cumberland WV

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near New Cumberland 26047

New Cumberland WV physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near New Cumberland WV is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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?

New Cumberland WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as New Cumberland WV private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other New Cumberland WV health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering 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 Therapy Degrees Offered

New Cumberland WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the New Cumberland WV area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be 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 be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in New Cumberland WVWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s New Cumberland WV residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the New Cumberland WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some New Cumberland WV physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might 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 colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the New Cumberland WV area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests 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 assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for West Virginia or the state where you will be working. In every 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 PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with New Cumberland WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the New Cumberland healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their New Cumberland WV residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the New Cumberland WV area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near New Cumberland West Virginia?

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

Cumberland, MD-WV MSA

Cumberland, MD-WV MSA, or Cumberland Metro for short, is the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Cumberland, Maryland and the surrounding economic region of Allegany County, Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia, in the United States.

A Metropolitan Statistical Area represents a regional economy of closely tied cities, towns, and surrounding rural areas with a high degree of social, geographic, and economic integration; and a total combined regional population of 50,000 or more. Metro Statistical Areas are named after the primary city and states within the area.

As of 2000, The City of Cumberland had a population of 21,591 and the surrounding area had a population of 102,008. Allegany and Mineral are mountainous, mostly rural areas. According to the 2000 census, more than 45 percent of the people living in the Cumberland region live in rural and non-incorporated areas.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near New Cumberland WV

Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in New Cumberland WV.

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