Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Bowling Green KY

How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Bowling Green 42101

Bowling Green KY physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Bowling Green KY is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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?

Bowling Green KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Bowling Green KY private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Bowling Green KY health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Bowling Green KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Bowling Green KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). 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. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bowling Green KYAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bowling Green KY home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend 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 Bowling Green KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select 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, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Bowling Green KY physical therapist 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 college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bowling Green KY area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Kentucky or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist 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 Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Bowling Green KY clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Bowling Green health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized 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 monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Bowling Green KY home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bowling Green KY area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bowling Green Kentucky?

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

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States.[2] As of 2017, its population of 67,067 made it the third most-populous city in the state after Louisville and Lexington; its metropolitan area had an estimated population of 165,732; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 218,870.[3][4][5]

Founded by pioneers in 1798, Bowling Green was the provisional capital of Confederate Kentucky during the American Civil War. The city was the subject of the 1967 Everly Brothers song "Bowling Green".

In the 21st century, it is the location of numerous manufacturers, including General Motors and Fruit of the Loom. The Bowling Green Assembly Plant has been the source of all Chevrolet Corvettes built since 1981. Bowling Green is also home to the state's second-largest public university, Western Kentucky University. In 2014, Forbes magazine listed Bowling Green as one of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire in the United States.[6]

Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Bowling Green KY

Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Bowling Green KY.

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