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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Riley 66531

Riley KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Riley KS is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not 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 relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Riley KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Riley KS private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Riley KS health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, 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 Therapist Degrees Available

Riley KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Riley KS area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Riley KSAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Riley KS residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Riley KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it may also receive 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Riley KS physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Riley KS area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Kansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Riley KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Riley medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Riley KS home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Riley KS area, verify 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 might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Riley Kansas?

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

Fort Riley

Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in North Central Kansas, on the Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 101,733 acres (41,170 ha) in Geary and Riley counties.[1] The portion of the fort that contains housing development is part of the Fort Riley census-designated place, with a residential population of 7,761 as of the 2010 census.[2] The fort has a daytime population of nearly 25,000. The ZIP Code is 66442.

Fort Riley is named in honor of Major General Bennet C. Riley, who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was established in 1853 as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe trails. In the years after the Civil War, Fort Riley served as a major United States Cavalry post and school for cavalry tactics and practice. The post was a base for skirmishes with Native Americans after the Civil War ended in 1865, during which time George A. Custer was stationed at the fort.

In 1887, Fort Riley became the site of the United States Cavalry School. The famous all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, the soldiers of which were called "Buffalo Soldiers", were stationed at Fort Riley at various times in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During World War I, the fort was home to 50,000 soldiers, and it is sometimes identified as ground zero for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which its soldiers were said to have spread all over the world. Since the end of World War II, various infantry divisions have been assigned there. Most notably, from 1955 to 1996 the post was home to the famed 1st Infantry Division, also called "Big Red One". Between 1999–2006, the post was headquarters to the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and known as "America's Warfighting Center". In August 2006, the Big Red One relocated its headquarters to Fort Riley from Leighton Barracks, Germany.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Riley KS

Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Riley KS.

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