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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Salem 42078

Salem KY physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Salem KY is a critical first step to launching 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 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 be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Salem KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Salem KY hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Salem KY medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Salem KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Salem KY area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Salem KYAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Salem KY home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring 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.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Salem KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate 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 earlier 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 obtain 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 just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Salem KY physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Salem KY area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Salem KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Salem health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical 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 converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Salem KY residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Salem KY area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Salem Kentucky?

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

Salem, Kentucky

Salem is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States. Salem is part of the Paducah micropolitan area. The population was 752 during the U.S. Census, down from 769 in 2000. It the largest city in Livingston County, although the unincorporated community of Ledbetter has more than twice the population of Salem.

The city is believed to have been settled c. 1800 by immigrants from Salem, North Carolina, who named their new community after their former home. It replaced Centerville as Livingston Co.'s seat in 1809 but was replaced in turn by Smithland in 1842 after the removal of Crittenden Co. left it more centrally-located.[3]

Salem is located at 37°15′53″N 88°14′28″W / 37.26472°N 88.24111°W / 37.26472; -88.24111 (37.264694, -88.241221).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.

Select the Best Physical Therapist College near Salem KY

Picking the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT 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 begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Salem KY.

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