How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Union 24983
Earning a physical therapy degree near Union WV is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Union WV hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, 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 course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Union WV health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Union WV area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Union WV home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Union WV area and throughout West Virginia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing 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 School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Union WV physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It might 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Union WV area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Union WV clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Union healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Union WV residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Union WV area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Union West Virginia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Union WV area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Union, West Virginia
Monroe County was established by an act of the Assembly of Virginia on January 14, 1799, occupying land formerly a part of Greenbrier County. Union did not yet exist when the county’s first court convened in 1799. However, shortly after Monroe County was created, James Alexander offered 25 acres of land, including a lot for a courthouse which in time became the town of Union. On January 6, 1800, the Virginia Assembly passed an act creating the town of Union and naming William Haynes, John Gray, John Byrnside, James Handley, Michael Erskine, John Hutchinson, and Isaac Estill trustees.
By 1810, at least sixteen lots had been sold in the newly laid out town of Union and a courthouse and jail were built at its center. In 1835, Union had 400 inhabitants and supported two hotels, two tanneries, a school, two churches, and two physicians. Union’s location on stage coach lines which carried settlers across the Allegheny Mountains helped to fuel the region’s growth, as did the several mineral spring resorts which operated in Monroe County, including Sweet Springs, Red Sulphur Springs, and Salt Sulphur Springs, all within a twenty-five mile radius of Union. Little activity during the American Civil War occurred around Union other than troop movements, especially in 1864 when regiments of the U.S. Army under General Crook encamped near the town. Small skirmishes occurred throughout the war in the vicinity of Union and Monroe County. A majority of the citizens of Union supported the Confederacy and opposed the creation of West Virginia which included Monroe County. Union was incorporated in 1868.
The town of Union retains much of its historic architecture, with many structures dating to the antebellum period when the local economy was thriving from the resort industry. The present Monroe County Courthouse, built in 1881, displays the fashionable Romanesque style of the late-19th century. Historic churches in Union include the Old Baptist Church (1845), Old Methodist Episcopal Church/Ames Clair Hall (1857), All Saints Episcopal Church (1875), Union United Methodist Church (1889), and the Union Presbyterian Church (1922). The Monroe County Historical Society preserves several historic structures in the town, including the Caperton Law Office, Owen Neel House, Clark-Wisemen House, Ames Clair Hall, and the Old Baptist Church. In recognition of the history of Union and the integrity of its preserved streetscape, the Union Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Union WV
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Union WV.
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