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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Russellville 42276

Russellville KY physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Russellville KY is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. 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 all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet 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 residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Russellville KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Russellville KY hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Russellville KY medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Russellville KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Russellville KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

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. Some licensed 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 implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Russellville KYWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Russellville KY home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Russellville KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 Russellville KY physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college 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 schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Russellville KY area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Russellville KY clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive 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 may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Russellville health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Russellville KY home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

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

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Russellville KY area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative 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 as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Russellville Kentucky?

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

Russellville, Kentucky

Local historian Alex C. Finley claimed the area was first settled by Gasper Butcher, as a frontier settlement of the Transylvania Colony of Virginia, around 1780, but others have questioned this claim.[5] Although the area is known to have been called Big Boiling Spring, Gasper Butcher's Spring, and Butcher's Station, W.R. Jillson was unable to find written records of any habitation before 1790. That year William Cook and his wife erected Cook's Cabin, accompanied by eighteen-year-old William Stewart.[5][6] Also known as Cook's Station, the community was located about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the present city.[5] It was renamed as Logan Court House when it was chosen as the seat of newly formed Logan County in 1792.

General William Russell was given a 2,000-acre (810 ha) grant here for his military service during the American Revolution. He donated part of this property, in 1795, as a platted section for the county seat, known as Logan Court House. The town was renamed in Russell's honor in 1798.[5] It was formally established by the state legislature on January 15, 1810.[1] It was incorporated as a city on February 19, 1840.[1]

In the early 19th century, the community had leaders who were politically prominent in the state. Four homes in the city still stand which were residences of future governors of Kentucky: John Breathitt, James Morehead, John J. Crittenden, and Charles S. Morehead.[6]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Russellville KY

Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Russellville KY.

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