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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Colby 67701

Colby KS physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Colby KS is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Colby KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Colby KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

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

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Colby KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Colby KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Colby KSAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined 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 part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Colby KS residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Colby KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Colby KS physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Kansas 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 important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Colby KS area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Colby KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Colby healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Colby KS home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Colby KS area, make sure 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Colby Kansas?

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

Colby, Kansas

In 1882, a post office was established near the center of Thomas County. Area homesteaders lived under harsh conditions in sod houses, creating demand for a town to provide lumber and other provisions to incoming settlers. J.R. Colby, a local land assessor and preacher, obtained a patent to establish the town in April 1884, and land was acquired for the town site three miles north of the post office in March 1885. The following month, the Kansas Secretary of State issued the Town Charter. Kansas Gov. John Martin named Colby the county seat in 1885, and the city was incorporated in 1886. The Union Pacific Railroad reached the city in 1887, and the Rock Island Railroad followed the next year.[8]

In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. This was one of 130 new hospitals to be built with these funds, it was one of two built in Kansas alone. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St. Thomas Historic Residences. [9]

Colby is located at 39°23′32″N 101°02′51″W / 39.392093°N 101.047532°W / 39.392093; -101.047532 (39.392093, -101.047532) at an elevation of 3,159 feet (963 m).[5][11] It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains.[12] A small tributary of the creek flows northeast through the town.[13] Located at the interchange of Interstate 70 and K-25 in northwestern Kansas, Colby is 212 mi (341 km) east-southeast of Denver, 232 mi (373 km) northwest of Wichita, and 347 mi (558 km) west of Kansas City.[12][14]

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Colby KS

Selecting the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Colby KS.

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