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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Shinnston 26431

Shinnston WV physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Shinnston WV is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Shinnston WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Shinnston WV private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Shinnston WV medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Shinnston WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Shinnston WV area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Shinnston WVWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Shinnston WV residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Shinnston WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Get in touch with some Shinnston WV physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out 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 support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Shinnston WV area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Shinnston WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Shinnston health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Shinnston WV home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Shinnston WV area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Shinnston West Virginia?

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

Shinnston, West Virginia

Shinnston is a city and former coal town in Harrison County, West Virginia, United States, along the West Fork River. In 1778 Levi Shinn constructed his log home along what is now Route 19; today it is the oldest standing structure in north-central West Virginia.[6] As of the 2010 census, Shinnston had a population of 2,201.[7]

The roots of Shinnston date back to 1778, when Levi Shinn constructed his log home. The log house, located along Route 19, is the oldest standing structure in North Central West Virginia. It is maintained by the Shinnston Historical Association, which opens the home for tours by the general public.

In 1815, the town was laid out with three streets, running parallel with the river, and with four crossing streets running at right angles to them. The town was incorporated in 1852 as Shinn's Town by an act of the Virginia legislature, as West Virginia did not yet exist as an independent state. Solomon S. Fleming was elected as the first mayor.

Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Shinnston WV

Selecting the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare 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 be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Shinnston WV.

A Few More Interesting Locations in West Virginia

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