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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Princeton 24740

Princeton WV physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Princeton WV is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Princeton WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Princeton WV private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Princeton WV medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Princeton WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as 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 summaries of degrees that are offered in the Princeton WV area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Princeton WVWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Princeton WV home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Princeton WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned 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 therapist 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 organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Princeton WV physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. 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, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Princeton WV area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many 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 therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Princeton WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Princeton healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Princeton WV residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Princeton WV area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Princeton West Virginia?

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

Princeton, West Virginia

Princeton, often referred to as the "Jewel of the South[6]," is a city in and the county seat of Mercer County, West Virginia, United States.[7] The population was 6,432 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 107,342. The town hosts the Princeton Rays baseball club of the Appalachian League.

In southern West Virginia, in the late 19th century, coal mining and transportation by the emerging technology of the railroads combined to form a new industry. Much of the region's bituminous coal was sent northwest to the Great Lakes, or northeast to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's coal piers at Baltimore, or to the world's greatest ice-free port of Hampton Roads in eastern Virginia.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's coal piers were located at Newport News. Across the harbor, the Norfolk and Western Railway's coal piers were located on the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. The eastern-bound coal transported by the C&O and the N&W railroads was highly valued for local use and for steam-powered ships, notably those of the U.S. Navy. Loaded into large ships called colliers, the West Virginia "smokeless coal" was sent in coast-wise shipping to the Northeastern U.S. points such as New York City and New England, as well as exported to other countries worldwide.

Choose the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Princeton WV

Deciding on the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 have the ability to narrow down the options 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 Princeton WV.

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