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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Salina 67401

Salina KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Salina KS is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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’s Job Description?

Salina KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Salina KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Salina KS health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Salina KSWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Salina KS home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Salina KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Salina KS physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Salina KS area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Salina KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Salina healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

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 probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

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

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Salina KS area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Salina Kansas?

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

Salina, Kansas

Salina /səˈlaɪnə/ is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Kansas, United States.[1] As of the 2010 census[update], the city population was 47,707.[6] Located in one of the world's largest wheat-producing areas, Salina is a regional trade center for north-central Kansas. It is home to multiple colleges.

Prior to European colonization of the area, the site of Salina was located within the territory of the Kansa people.[7] Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it was within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854.[8][9] In 1856, a colony led by Preston B. Plumb established the first American settlement near the site at a location on the Saline River.[10]

Settlers led by journalist and lawyer William A. Phillips founded Salina in 1858. During the following two years, the territorial legislature chartered the town company, organized the surrounding area as Saline County, and named Salina the county seat. The westernmost town on the Smoky Hill Trail, Salina established itself as a trading post for westbound immigrants, prospectors bound for Pikes Peak, and area American Indian tribes. The town's growth halted with the outbreak of the American Civil War when much of the male population left to join the U.S. Army.[11]

Select the Best Physical Therapist College near Salina KS

Selecting the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Salina KS.

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