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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Leavenworth 66048

Leavenworth KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Leavenworth KS is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled 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 must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Leavenworth KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Leavenworth KS private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Leavenworth KS medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Leavenworth KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Leavenworth KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable 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 before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Leavenworth KSWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Leavenworth KS home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Leavenworth KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Leavenworth KS physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Leavenworth KS area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Leavenworth KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Leavenworth health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Leavenworth KS residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Leavenworth KS area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Leavenworth Kansas?

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

Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, immediately north of the city of Leavenworth, in the northeast part of the state. Built in 1827, it is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, DC, and the oldest permanent settlement in Kansas.[1] Fort Leavenworth has been historically known as the "Intellectual Center of the Army."[2]

Fort Leavenworth was also the base of African-American soldiers of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on 21 September 1866 at Fort Leavenworth. They became known as Buffalo Soldiers, nicknamed by the Native American tribes whom they fought. The term eventually was applied to all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866.

During the country's westward expansion, Fort Leavenworth was a forward destination for thousands of soldiers, surveyors, immigrants, American Indians, preachers and settlers who passed through. On August 1, 1846, a Mormon Battalion, led by Col. James Allen, arrived at Fort Leavenworth. Colonel Allen became ill and died at the fort; his headstone marks his grave at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Leavenworth KS

Picking the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Leavenworth KS.

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