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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Gardner 66030

Gardner KS physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Gardner KS is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated 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 training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Gardner KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Gardner KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously 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 develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Gardner KS medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee 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 considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Gardner KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become 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 brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Gardner KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Gardner KSWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Gardner KS home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Gardner KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Gardner KS physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Gardner KS area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Gardner KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Gardner health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Gardner KS home. Those who have decided 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gardner KS area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gardner Kansas?

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

Gardner, Kansas

Gardner was founded where the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon/California Trails divided. The Santa Fe Trail sent travelers southwest through Sante Fe and Albuquerque toward Los Angeles and San Diego. The Oregon/California Trails bore west for a few miles before turning north toward the Kansas River valley, followed the Big Blue River into present-day Nebraska, followed the Platte River west, and ultimately split in present-day Wyoming, Idaho or Utah.[10]

Gardner was founded as a Free-Stater settlement in 1857. Settled primarily by emigrants from Massachusetts, including M. Lester, Moe named it for Henry Gardner,[11] then governor of Massachusetts. Four years after its establishment, it became the first community in Johnson County — and perhaps the first in the state — to experience an attack by Confederate forces.[12]

Gardner is located at 38°48′45″N 94°55′7″W / 38.81250°N 94.91861°W / 38.81250; -94.91861 (38.812367, -94.918621).[14] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.21 square miles (26.44 km2), of which 10.16 square miles (26.31 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.[2]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Gardner 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 enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Gardner KS.

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