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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Oakland 42159

Oakland KY physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Oakland KY is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Oakland KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Oakland 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Oakland KY health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapy Degree Options

Oakland KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Oakland KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oakland KYWhile not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more 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 nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Oakland KY home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Oakland KY area and throughout Kentucky, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Oakland KY physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oakland KY area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Oakland KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Oakland health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Oakland KY home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Oakland KY area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oakland Kentucky?

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

Oakland, Kentucky

Oakland is located at 37°2′30″N 86°14′58″W / 37.04167°N 86.24944°W / 37.04167; -86.24944 (37.041675, -86.249344).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all land. The city is situated northeast of Bowling Green in an area bordered by U.S. Route 68 on the south, and extending northward in the direction of U.S. Route 31W. Interstate 65 passes south of Oakland. The city of Smiths Grove lies just to the east.

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 260 people, 102 households, and 79 families residing in the city. The population density was 188.1 people per square mile (72.7/km²). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 77.4 per square mile (29.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.08% White, 11.54% African American, and 0.38% from two or more races.

There were 102 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.88.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Oakland KY

Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare 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. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to 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 supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oakland KY.

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