How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist School near Whiteville North Carolina
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Whiteville NC is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Whiteville NC private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Whiteville NC health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, 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
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Whiteville NC area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Whiteville NC home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Whiteville NC area and across North Carolina, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Whiteville NC physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the North Carolina Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Whiteville NC area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Whiteville NC hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Whiteville medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Whiteville NC home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Whiteville NC area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Whiteville North Carolina?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Whiteville NC area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Whiteville, North Carolina
Whiteville is located in north-central Columbus County at 34°19′48″N 78°42′16″W / 34.33000°N 78.70444°W / 34.33000; -78.70444 (34.330096, -78.704533). Combined U.S. Routes 74 and 76 bypass the city on its north side and lead east 46 miles (74 km) to Wilmington. US 74 leads northwest 32 miles (51 km) to Lumberton, and US 76 leads west 67 miles (108 km) to Florence, South Carolina. U.S. Route 701 passes through the west side of Whiteville, leading north 23 miles (37 km) to Elizabethtown and southwest 44 miles (71 km) to Conway, South Carolina.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,148 people, 2,191 households, and 1,336 families residing in the city. The population density was 957.5 people per square mile (369.5/km²). There were 2,450 housing units at an average density of 455.7 per square mile (175.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.51% White, 36.67% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.
There were 2,191 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 20.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.88.
PhD In Physical Therapy Whiteville NC
Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PhD In Physical Therapy. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Whiteville NC.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in North Carolina