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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Paducah 42001

Paducah KY physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Paducah KY is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Paducah KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Paducah KY private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Paducah KY health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Paducah KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Paducah KY area:

  • Associate Degrees train 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Paducah KYWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Paducah KY home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Paducah KY area and throughout Kentucky, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Paducah KY physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Paducah KY area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Paducah KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Paducah healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Paducah KY home. Those who have opted 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Paducah KY area, make certain that they are available. 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Paducah Kentucky?

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

Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah (/pəˈduːkə/) is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States.[5] The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. The population was 25,145 in 2016,[6] up slightly from 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census.[7] Twenty blocks of the city's downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Chickasaw and their indigenous ancestors occupied the areas along the rivers for thousands of years before Europeans appeared in the area. The Chickasaw used the area at the confluence as a trading site for an extended river network to connect with other tribes.

Paducah was first settled as Pekin c. 1821 by European Americans James and William Pore.[3] The community – favorably located at the confluence of several waterways – occupied a site previously noted as a Chickasaw trading center.[citation needed]

Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Paducah KY

Selecting the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Paducah KY.

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