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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Liberal 67901

Liberal KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Liberal KS is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Liberal KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Liberal KS hospitals, health clinics, 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Liberal KS medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Liberal KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Liberal KS area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Liberal KSAlthough not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Liberal KS residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Liberal KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 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 school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Liberal KS physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Liberal KS area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both excellent 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Liberal KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Liberal medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Liberal KS home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Liberal KS area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Liberal Kansas?

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

Liberal, Kansas

Early settler S. S. Rogers built the first house in what would become Liberal in 1872. Rogers became famous in the region for giving free water to thirsty travelers. Reportedly, Liberal gained its name from the common response to his acts of kindness, "That's very liberal of you."[8][9] In 1885 Rogers built a general store, and with it came an official U.S. Post Office. Rogers named the post office 'Liberal'. After the railroad was built close by, a plan for the town site was created in 1888. A year later the population was around 800.[8]

Natural gas was discovered west of town, in what would become part of the massive Panhandle-Hugoton Gas Field, in 1920. Oil was discovered southwest of town in 1951. In 1963 the largest helium plant in the world, National Helium, was opened.[8]

Liberal is located at 37°2′36″N 100°55′41″W / 37.04333°N 100.92806°W / 37.04333; -100.92806 (37.043418, −100.928133) at an elevation of 2,835 feet (864 m).[10] Located in southwestern Kansas at the intersection of U.S. Route 83 and U.S. Route 54, Liberal is 140 miles (225 km) north-northeast of Amarillo, Texas, 202 mi (325 km) west-southwest of Wichita, and 288 mi (463 km) southeast of Denver, Colorado.[11][12]

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Liberal KS

Picking the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Liberal KS.

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