How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Welch 24801
Earning a physical therapist degree near Welch WV is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with 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 cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Welch WV hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Welch WV medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become 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 descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Welch WV area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Welch WV home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Welch WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs 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 program, it may also obtain 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 simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent 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 may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Welch WV physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Welch WV area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Welch WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Welch healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 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 therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Welch WV residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Welch 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Welch West Virginia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Welch WV area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Welch, West Virginia
Welch was incorporated in 1893 and named after Isaiah A. Welch, a former captain in the Confederate States Army who came to the region as a surveyor, and helped establish the plan for the beginning of a new town at the confluence of the Tug and Elkhorn rivers.
Welch was made the county seat of McDowell County in an election by county citizens in 1892 even before Welch was incorporated as a city. The previous county seat was in Perryville (now English) on present day West Virginia Route 83 along the Dry Fork. Results of the election were contested so to avoid violence county records were secretly moved from Perryville to Welch at night in two wagons by James A. Strother and Trigg Tabor.
On March 2, 1921, the Welch City Council met to discuss impeachment of then Mayor J. H. Whitt. Whitt showed up at the meeting and disrupted the proceedings. The Welch City Council then asked the McDowell Co. Sheriff's Dept. to investigate Whitt. Later that same day, Mayor Whitt shot and killed McDowell County Deputy Sheriff William Johnson Tabor who was investigating the matter. Mayor Whitt was arrested and charged with murder but won acquittal at his trial (allegedly based on perjured testimony). Whitt left the area for parts unknown on September 27, 1921.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Welch WV
Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize 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 options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Welch WV.
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