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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Thomas 26292

Thomas WV physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Thomas WV is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. 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?

Thomas WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Thomas WV private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Thomas WV medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Thomas WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Thomas WV area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Thomas WVWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Thomas WV home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Thomas WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 select an online college, it may 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Thomas WV physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the West Virginia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Thomas WV area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both superior training and a course of study 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Thomas WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Thomas medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Thomas WV home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Thomas WV area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Thomas West Virginia?

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

Thomas, West Virginia

Thomas was platted in 1884.[7] Thomas was named for Thomas Beall Davis (1828-1911), brother of Senator Henry Gassaway Davis.[8] The Davis brothers, in 1883, opened a mine near Thomas and had coal ready to ship when their railway arrived a year later. By 1892, Davis Coal and Coke was among the largest and best known coal companies in the world and employed 1,600 people. At the peak of its operations in 1915, there were nine producing mines within a mile of the company's office in Thomas.

Immigrants flocked to the area as miners, railroad laborers, or merchants. The Company employed a man named Wladyslaw Dackiewicz as an interpreter. He could speak, read, and write eight languages and his services were much in demand with the influx of immigrants.

In 1901, in less than two hours, nearly half of Thomas (83 buildings) was destroyed by a fire. The city was quickly rebuilt with fine hotels and a new opera house. The Cottrill Opera House had a saloon on the first floor which was by far the most elegant of the eight bars located on Front Street. In 1909, Front Street (also known as First Street, Main Street, and East Avenue) was laid with brick to become the first paved street in the county.

Pick the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Thomas WV

Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Thomas WV.

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