Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Clay Center KS

How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Clay Center 67432

Clay Center KS physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Clay Center KS is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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?

Clay Center KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Clay Center KS hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try 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
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clay Center KS medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather 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

Clay Center KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Clay Center KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

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 even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clay Center KSAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clay Center KS home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Clay Center KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Clay Center KS physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One 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 support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Clay Center KS area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Clay Center KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical 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 help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Clay Center medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Clay Center KS residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clay Center KS area, check 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 carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clay Center Kansas?

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

Clay Center, Kansas

Clay Center is located at 39°22′48″N 97°7′23″W / 39.38000°N 97.12306°W / 39.38000; -97.12306 (39.379920, -97.123168).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.08 square miles (7.98 km2), all of it land.[1] Clay Center is unique, because it is the geographic midpoint between Los Angeles, California and New York City, the two largest American cities. Both cities are exactly 1,224 mi (1,970 km) from Clay Center.[12]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clay Center has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[13]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 4,334 people, 1,920 households, and 1,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 inhabitants per square mile (543.3/km2). There were 2,158 housing units at an average density of 700.6 per square mile (270.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 0.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Clay Center KS

Selecting the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve 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 ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Clay Center KS.

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