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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Oakley 67748

Oakley KS physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Oakley KS is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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?

Oakley KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Oakley KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Oakley KS health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degree Options

Oakley KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Oakley KS area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oakley KSWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oakley KS residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Oakley KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. 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 check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Oakley KS physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Oakley KS area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Oakley KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Oakley health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Oakley KS residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oakley KS area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. 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 Oakley Kansas?

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

Oakley, Kansas

The area that would later become Oakley was initially settled in the 1870s and 1880s by travelers from the Smoky Hill Trail. Oakley was founded in 1884 by Judge Fredman and David D. Hoag. Originally named Carlyle, its name was changed to Cleveland, before settling on its official name in 1885, named after Hoag's mother, Elizabeth Oakley Gardner Hoag.[8]

Oakley is located at 39°7′41″N 100°51′16″W / 39.12806°N 100.85444°W / 39.12806; -100.85444 (39.128023, -100.854490) at an elevation of 3,064 feet (934 m).[5][9] It lies roughly 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the South Fork of the Saline River in the High Plains region of the Great Plains.

The city is located at the intersection of Interstate 70, U.S. Route 40, and U.S. Route 83 in northwest Kansas. It is in the northeast corner of Logan County, and portions of it extend into Gove County and Thomas County. Oakley is approximately 211 miles (340 km) northwest of Wichita, 227 miles east-southeast of Denver, and 335 miles (539 km) west of Kansas City.[10]

Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Oakley KS

Choosing the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oakley KS.

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