Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – La Crosse KS

How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near La Crosse 67548

La Crosse KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near La Crosse KS is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest 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 the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

La Crosse KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including La Crosse KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other La Crosse KS health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

La Crosse KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the La Crosse 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 obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in La Crosse KSAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s La Crosse KS residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the La Crosse KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few La Crosse KS physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the La Crosse KS area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with La Crosse KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the La Crosse healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their La Crosse KS home. Individuals who have decided 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the La Crosse KS area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near La Crosse Kansas?

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

La Crosse, Kansas

La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of Rush County, Kansas, United States.[6] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,342.[7] La Crosse proclaims itself the "Barbed Wire capital of the world.[8]

La Crosse was founded in 1876, was named after the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin.[9] La Crosse subsequently became the intended county seat, and county records were transferred there from the temporary county seat, nearby Rush Center. A county seat war ensued between the two communities, lasting until La Crosse was declared the permanent county seat and the construction of the county courthouse in 1888.[10]

In the 1960s, La Crosse became a regional center of barbed wire collecting, leading to the establishment of the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum and the nicknaming of the city as "The Barbed Wire Capital of the World".[11]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near La Crosse KS

Picking the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in La Crosse KS.

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