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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Riverton 66770

Riverton KS physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Riverton KS is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled 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 must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Riverton KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Riverton KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Riverton KS health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Riverton KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing 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 offered in the Riverton KS area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Riverton KSAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Riverton KS home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Riverton KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’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 organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Riverton KS physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Riverton KS area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Riverton KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Riverton healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Riverton KS residence. 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 area 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

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

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Riverton KS area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Riverton Kansas?

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

Riverton, Kansas

Riverton is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Cherokee County, Kansas, United States. It is located at the junction of K-66 (former U.S. Route 66) and U.S. Route 69 Alternate and U.S. Route 400, near the Spring River. It is one of only three towns in Kansas along former U.S. Route 66. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 929.[1]

Riverton is located in southeastern Cherokee County near the southeastern corner of Kansas. Along K-66, Galena, Kansas, is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the east, and Joplin, Missouri, is 10 miles (16 km) to the east. Pittsburg, Kansas, is 23 miles (37 km) to the north via US 400 and US 69. Baxter Springs, Kansas, is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the southwest, and Miami, Oklahoma, is 20 miles (32 km) to the southwest by US 69A.

The famous Rainbow Bridge, about 2 miles (3 km) west of town, was the site where in the year 2000, musician Brad Paisley performed the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" for the TLC special "Route 66: Main Street America".[citation needed]

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Riverton KS

Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Riverton KS.

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