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

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Weston 26452

Weston WV physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Weston WV is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. 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 significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Weston WV physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Weston WV private practices, hospitals, 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 people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems 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 abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Weston WV medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Weston WV physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Weston 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 obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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 total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Weston WVWhile not as common 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 integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Weston WV home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Weston WV area and across West Virginia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Weston WV physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Weston WV area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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 fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Weston WV hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Weston medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Weston WV home. Students who have chosen 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Weston WV area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Weston West Virginia?

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

Weston, West Virginia

Weston is a city in Lewis County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 4,110 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lewis County,[6] and home to the West Virginia Museum of American Glass and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

Weston is the site of the former Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a psychiatric hospital and National Historic Landmark which has been mostly vacant since its closure in 1994 upon its replacement by the nearby William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital. Jackson's Mill, a childhood home of Stonewall Jackson, is approximately four miles (6 km) north of Weston; it has been operated as a 4-H facility since the 1920s and is also the site of conference center operated by the West Virginia University Extension Service.[9] It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp Historic District.[10]

Weston has two national historic districts: the Weston Downtown Historic District and Weston Downtown Residential Historic District. Other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places are the Jonathan M. Bennett House and the former Weston Colored School.[10]

Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Weston WV

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Weston WV.

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