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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Kansas City 66101

Kansas City KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Kansas City KS is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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?

Kansas City KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Kansas City KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Kansas City KS health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Kansas City KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Kansas City KS area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Kansas City KSAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kansas City KS residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Kansas City KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring 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 School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Kansas City KS physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea 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 couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kansas City KS area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Kansas City KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Kansas City healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Kansas 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 local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kansas City KS area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative 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 work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kansas City Kansas?

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

Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City is the third-largest city in the State of Kansas, the county seat of Wyandotte County, and the third-largest city of the Kansas City metropolitan area.[1] Kansas City, Kansas is abbreviated as "KCK" to differentiate it from Kansas City, Missouri, after which it is named.[5][6] It is part of a consolidated city-county government known as the "Unified Government". Wyandotte County also includes the independent cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 145,786 residents.[7] It is situated at Kaw Point, which is the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers.

In October 1872, "old" Kansas City, Kansas, was incorporated. The first city election was held on October 22 of that year, by order of Judge Hiram Stevens of the Tenth Judicial District, and resulted in the election of Mayor James Boyle. The mayors of the city after its organization were James Boyle, C. A. Eidemiller, A. S. Orbison, Eli Teed and Samuel McConnell. In June 1880, the Governor of Kansas proclaimed the city of Kansas City a city of the second class with Mayor McConnell present.

In March 1886, "new" Kansas City, Kansas, was formed through the consolidation of five municipalities: "old" Kansas City, Armstrong, Armourdale, Riverview, Wyandotte. The oldest city of the group was Wyandotte, which was formed in 1857 by Wyandot Native Americans and Methodist missionaries.[8]:370, 384, 388

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Kansas City KS

Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical 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 a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Kansas City KS.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Kansas

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