Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Russell Springs KY

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Russell Springs 42642

Russell Springs KY physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Russell Springs KY is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Russell Springs KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Russell Springs KY hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Russell Springs KY health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly 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

Russell Springs KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Russell Springs KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Russell Springs KYWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Russell Springs KY home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Russell Springs KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Russell Springs KY physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Russell Springs KY area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college 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 school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Russell Springs KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Russell Springs healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Russell Springs KY home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Russell Springs KY area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Russell Springs Kentucky?

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

Russell Springs, Kentucky

Russell Springs is a home rule-class city[3] in Russell County, Kentucky, in the United States. The city is the gateway to Lake Cumberland, one of the largest man-made lakes in the region, created by Wolf Creek Dam. It is the largest city in the county, having a population of 2,399 during the year 2000 U.S. Census.

The present city grew out of a resort centered on a local chalybeate spring. Rennick relates that Samuel Patterson was generally credited with settling the site and that the community was known as Big Boiling Springs by 1850.[4] The post office was established in 1855 as "Russell Springs" after the county, but was discontinued in 1865 and reopened as Kimble (after local businessman George Kimble) in 1888. The community restored the name Russell Springs in 1901[4] and incorporated in 1936.[1]

Russell Springs is located at 37°3′17″N 85°4′52″W / 37.05472°N 85.08111°W / 37.05472; -85.08111 (37.054853, -85.081162).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all land.

Choose the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Russell Springs KY

Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Russell Springs KY.

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