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

How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Cummings 66016

Cummings KS physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Cummings KS is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. 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?

Cummings KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Cummings KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Cummings KS medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Cummings KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Cummings KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically 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 usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Cummings KSAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college 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 Cummings KS home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Cummings KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges 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 select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required 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 imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Cummings KS physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cummings KS area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Kansas or the state where you will be working. 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 school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Cummings KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Cummings healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Cummings KS residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cummings KS area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours 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 emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cummings Kansas?

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

Cummings, Kansas

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Cummings KS

Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Cummings KS.

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