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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Alma 66401

Alma KS physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Alma KS is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Alma KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Alma KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Alma KS medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Alma KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Alma KS area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate 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 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 total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

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

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Alma KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’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 as well. Contact a few Alma KS physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Alma KS area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. 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 supplemental tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Alma KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Alma medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Alma KS residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alma KS area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Alma Kansas?

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

Alma, Kansas

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 1859, Wabaunsee County was founded.

In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a main line from Topeka through Alma to Herington.[10] The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway was foreclosed in 1891 and taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which shut down in 1980. This line of the former Rock Island Railroad was sold to the Southern Pacific Railroad and later merged into the Union Pacific that operates and owns the line today. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 832 people, 342 households, and 212 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,434.5 inhabitants per square mile (553.9/km2). There were 381 housing units at an average density of 656.9 per square mile (253.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 0.1% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.

Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Alma KS

Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Alma KS.

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