Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Oak Hill WV

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Oak Hill 25901

Oak Hill WV physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Oak Hill WV is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy 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 residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Oak Hill WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Oak Hill WV hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 patients that are suffering from 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 resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Oak Hill WV medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Oak Hill WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Oak Hill WV area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and usually include 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oak Hill WVAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Oak Hill WV home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Oak Hill WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Oak Hill WV physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Oak Hill WV area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Oak Hill WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Oak Hill healthcare community and assist 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 class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Oak Hill WV home. Students who have opted 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 concern. One thing to consider 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Oak Hill WV area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oak Hill West Virginia?

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

Oak Hill, West Virginia

Oak Hill is a city in Fayette County, West Virginia, United States and is the primary city within the Oak Hill, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area. The micropolitan area is also included in the Beckley-Oak Hill, WV Combined Statistical Area. The population was 7,730 at the 2010 census. Country singer Hank Williams was discovered to be dead while the car in which he was a passenger was stopped in Oak Hill, and Oak Hill is generally accepted to be his place of death.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.89 square miles (12.67 km2), of which, 4.88 square miles (12.64 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 7,730 people, 3,398 households, and 2,085 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,584.0 inhabitants per square mile (611.6/km2). There were 3,703 housing units at an average density of 758.8 per square mile (293.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.3% White, 4.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

Choose the Right Physical Therapy School near Oak Hill WV

Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Oak Hill WV.

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