Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Abilene KS

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Abilene 67410

Abilene KS physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Abilene KS is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling 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 work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Abilene KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Abilene KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Abilene KS medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Abilene KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only 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. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Abilene KS area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 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 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 preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases 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 Abilene KSAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Abilene KS home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Abilene KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist 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 ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Abilene KS physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Abilene KS area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Abilene KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Abilene healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Abilene KS home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Abilene KS area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Abilene Kansas?

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

Abilene, Kansas

Abilene (pronounced /ˈæbɪliːn/)[7] is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States.[8] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.[9]The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is located in Abilene.

For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.

In 1857, Dickinson County was founded. Abilene began as a stage coach stop in the same year, established by Timothy Hersey and named Mud Creek. It wasn't until 1860 that it was named Abilene, from a passage in the Bible (Luke 3:1), meaning "city of the plains".[2]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Abilene KS

Picking the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to 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 accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Abilene KS.

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