Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Berea KY

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Berea 40403

Berea KY physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Berea KY is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest 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 cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Berea KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Berea KY hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. 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 individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Berea KY health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Berea KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Berea KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Berea KYWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Berea KY residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Berea KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Berea KY physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Berea KY area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Kentucky 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 therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Berea KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Berea medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Berea KY home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Berea KY area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Berea Kentucky?

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

Berea, Kentucky

Berea is a home rule-class city[2] in Madison County, Kentucky, in the United States. The town is best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants and buildings, and as the home to Berea College, a private, liberal arts college. The population was 13,561 at the 2010 census. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Kentucky, having increased by 27.4% since 2000.

In 1850 this area, called the Glade, was a community of scattered farms with a racetrack and citizens sympathetic to emancipation. In 1853, rich and politically ambitious Cassius Marcellus Clay gave Reverend John Gregg Fee a free tract of land in the Glade. With local supporters and other abolitionist missionaries from the American Missionary Association, Fee established two churches (First Christian Church and Union Church), a tiny village, and Berea College. Fee named Berea after a biblical town Berea (today Veria) in Macedonia, northern Greece, where the people "received the Word with all readiness of mind."

Founded in 1855, Berea College was the only interracial and coeducational college in the South for nearly forty years. Its motto is "God has made of one blood all peoples of the Earth,"[4] a paraphrase of Acts 17:26.[5] Reverend Fee modeled it on Oberlin College in Ohio and hoped it would become an academic beacon to Northern students. Pro-slavery supporters expelled Fee and his followers from Berea in 1859, in the aftermath of John Brown's Raid. Fee had delivered an address at the Pilgrim Church in Brooklyn, New York, in the pulpit of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Fee's remarks were reported in the New York Times, but were misrepresented in the Louisville Courier. Subsequently, everyone at the college was given ten days to leave the state. Most lived in Cincinnati or nearby northern towns for several years, returning for good after the war.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Berea KY

Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Berea KY.

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