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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Fulton 42041

Fulton KY physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Fulton KY is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Fulton KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Fulton KY 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Fulton KY medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Fulton KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Fulton KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Fulton KYAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many 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 incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fulton KY home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Fulton KY area and throughout Kentucky, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Fulton KY physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Kentucky 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 Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fulton KY area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Fulton KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Fulton healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Fulton KY home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 be required 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 don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fulton KY area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. 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 Fulton Kentucky?

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

Fulton, Kentucky

Fulton is a home rule-class city in Fulton County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,445 at the 2010 census,[2] down from 2,775 at the 2000 census. It was once known as the "Banana Capital of the World", because 70% of imported bananas to the U.S. used to be shipped through the city.[3]U.S. Route 51 runs through the center of downtown. Fulton is part of the Union City-Hickman, TN–KY Micropolitan Statistical Area.

A post office was established in the community, then known as "Pontotoc", in 1847. The post office was renamed "Fulton" in 1861.[4] It was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1872.[5] Fulton Station was located on the Paducah and Gulf Railroad, which stimulated growth in the county.[6]

In the late 19th century, Ben M. Bogard, later the founder of the American Baptist Association in Texarkana, Texas, and long-time pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, served as a pastor in Fulton, where he was part of the Landmark Baptist movement.[7] In the first decade of the 20th century, the Southern Baptist clergyman Monroe E. Dodd began his long ministry at a church in Fulton. For many years afterward, he was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Fulton KY

Choosing the right physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fulton KY.

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