Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – South Hutchinson KS

How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near South Hutchinson 67505

South Hutchinson KS physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near South Hutchinson KS is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

South Hutchinson KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as South Hutchinson KS hospitals, health clinics, 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other South Hutchinson KS health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

South Hutchinson KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the South Hutchinson KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate 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 programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress 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. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in South Hutchinson KSAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s South Hutchinson KS residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the South Hutchinson KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from 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 Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some South Hutchinson KS physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. 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 colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the South Hutchinson KS area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with South Hutchinson KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the South Hutchinson health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their South Hutchinson 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 area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing 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 eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the South Hutchinson KS area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near South Hutchinson Kansas?

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

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hutchinson is the largest city and county seat in Reno County, Kansas, United States,[1] and located on the Arkansas River. It has been home to salt mines since 1887, thus its nickname of "Salt City", but locals call it "Hutch". As of the 2010 census, the city population was 42,080.[5]

Each year, Hutchinson hosts the Kansas State Fair, and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball Tournament. It is the home of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center aerospace museum and Strataca (formerly known as Kansas Underground Salt Museum).

The city of Hutchinson was founded in 1871, when Indian Agent Clinton "C.C." Hutchinson contracted with the Santa Fe Railway to make a town at the railroad's crossing over the Arkansas River. The community earned the nickname "Temperance City" due to the prohibition of alcohol set by its founder.[6] Hutchinson was incorporated as a city in August 1872.[7]

Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near South Hutchinson KS

Deciding on the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in South Hutchinson KS.

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