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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Somerset 42501

Somerset KY physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Somerset KY is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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?

Somerset KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Somerset KY private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Somerset KY medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Somerset KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available 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. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Somerset KY area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Somerset KYWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Somerset KY home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Somerset KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, 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 just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Somerset KY physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Kentucky Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Somerset KY area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Somerset KY clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Somerset medical community and help 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 class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Somerset KY home. Students who have opted 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Somerset KY area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Somerset Kentucky?

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

Somerset, Kentucky

Somerset was first settled in 1798 by Thomas Hansford and received its name from Somerset County, New Jersey, where some of the early settlers had formerly lived. Somerset became the Pulaski County seat in 1802, and it was incorporated as a city in 1887. A significant Civil War battle was fought in January 1862, at Mill Springs (now "Nancy") about 8 miles (13 km) west of Somerset, and a museum is at the site. A smaller battle was fought nearby at Dutton's Hill in 1863. In 1875 tracks for the Southern Railroad were completed and Somerset saw a sudden population growth and an increase in industry.[2] In the late 1930s and early 1940s, library services were provided by the pack horse library.[3][4] The completion of Lake Cumberland in 1950 transformed Somerset from a sleepy rural community into one of the largest recreation centers in Kentucky, drawing more than 1.7 million visitors annually, especially between the Memorial and Labor Day holidays.

Somerset is located at 37°4′59″N 84°36′34″W / 37.08306°N 84.60944°W / 37.08306; -84.60944 (37.082966, -84.609387),[5] and the downtown (central) part of the city is at an elevation of 974 feet above sea level. The city is located at the eastern end of Kentucky's Mississippian Plateau (or Pennyroyal Plateau); however, the micropolitan area extends eastward into the Appalachian Plateau (or Eastern Kentucky Coalfield), and northward to Kentucky's Outer Bluegrass region. Thus, the area shows significant variations in landforms and scenery.

Nearby Lake Cumberland is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world (101 miles in length, with an average depth of 85 feet (26 m) and a normal pool containing more than 2 trillion gallons of water). Somerset is also near Cumberland Falls and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; its tourism industries are, in part, due to its scenic and varied landscape.[6]

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Somerset KY

Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Somerset KY.

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