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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Smithland 42081

Smithland KY physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Smithland KY is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. 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?

Smithland KY physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Smithland KY private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Smithland KY medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Smithland KY physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Smithland KY area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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. Some practicing 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 Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Smithland KYAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, 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 close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Smithland KY home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Smithland KY area and across Kentucky, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it may 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, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Smithland KY physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may 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 two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Smithland KY area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Smithland KY hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Smithland health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? 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. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Smithland KY home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Smithland 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Smithland Kentucky?

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

Smithland, Kentucky

Smithland is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, United States, at the confluence of the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The population was 301 at the 2010 census, a drop from 401 in 2000. It is the county seat of Livingston County.[2]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 401 people, 157 households, and 105 families residing in the city. The population density was 647.7 people per square mile (249.7/km²). There were 188 housing units at an average density of 303.7 per square mile (117.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.75% White, 0.25% African American, 0.75% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.

There were 157 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.72.

Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Smithland KY

Selecting the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional 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 practicing physical therapist in Smithland KY.

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