Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Dodge City KS

How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Dodge City 67801

Dodge City KS physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Dodge City KS is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Dodge City KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Dodge City KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Dodge City KS health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often 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

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

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 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 developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Dodge City KSAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dodge City KS residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Dodge City KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, 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 as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Dodge City KS physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out 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 Dodge City KS area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Dodge City KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dodge City healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Dodge City KS home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 may 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dodge City KS area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dodge City Kansas?

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

Dodge City, Kansas

Dodge City is the county seat of Ford County, Kansas, United States, named after nearby Fort Dodge. The city is famous in American culture for its history as a wild frontier town of the Old West.[6][7][8] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,340.[9]

Fort Mann was the first settlement of nonindigenous people in the area that became Dodge City, built by civilians in 1847 (then the territory being part of Mexico) to provide protection for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Mann collapsed in 1848 after an Indian attack. In 1850, the U.S. Army arrived to provide protection in the region and constructed Fort Atkinson on the old Fort Mann site. The army abandoned Fort Atkinson in 1853. Military forces on the Santa Fe Trail were re-established farther north and east at Fort Larned in 1859, but the area remained vacant around what would become Dodge City until the end of the Civil War. In April 1865, the Indian Wars in the West began heating up, and the army constructed Fort Dodge to assist Fort Larned in providing protection on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Dodge remained in operation until 1882.

The town of Dodge City can trace its origins to 1871, when rancher Henry J. Sitler built a sod house west of Fort Dodge to oversee his cattle operations in the region, conveniently located near the Santa Fe Trail and Arkansas River, and Sitler's house quickly became a stopping point for travelers. Others saw the commercial potential of the region with the Santa Fe Railroad rapidly approaching from the east. In 1872, Dodge City was staked out on the 100th meridian and the legal western boundary of the Fort Dodge reservation. The town site was platted and George M. Hoover established the first bar in a tent to serve thirsty soldiers from Fort Dodge. The railroad arrived in September to find a town ready and waiting for business. The early settlers in Dodge City traded in buffalo bones and hides and provided a civilian community for Fort Dodge. However, with the arrival of the railroad, Dodge City soon became involved in the cattle trade.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Dodge City KS

Picking the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dodge City KS.

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