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

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Wickliffe 42087

Wickliffe KY physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Wickliffe KY is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Wickliffe KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Wickliffe KY private practices, hospitals, 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 previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Wickliffe KY health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Wickliffe KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Wickliffe KY area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having 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 Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Wickliffe KYWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wickliffe KY residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Wickliffe KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Wickliffe KY physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. 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 colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wickliffe KY area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Kentucky or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Wickliffe KY clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Wickliffe medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Wickliffe KY home. Those 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wickliffe KY area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wickliffe Kentucky?

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

Wickliffe, Kentucky

The city of Wickliffe is the site of a Mississippian culture village now known only as Wickliffe Mounds. The village was occupied from around 1100-1300 AD. Today, Wickliffe Mounds is a state historic site and home to a research center and museum.

In 1780 during the Revolutionary War, General George Rogers Clark established Fort Jefferson on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River one mile south of present-day Wickliffe. The fort was intended to protect what was then the western boundary of the infant United States from raids by the British Army and Native Americans. It was abandoned in 1781 after a siege by the Chickasaw.

The site later served as a Union Army post during the Civil War. General Ulysses S. Grant directed a demonstration against the Confederate-held position at Columbus, Kentucky, in January 1862. Troops from the post joined in capturing Fort Henry in February 1862. It served as a Union supply post for operations in the western theater of the war.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Wickliffe KY

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish 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 training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Wickliffe KY.

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