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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Sterling 67579

Sterling KS physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Sterling KS is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with 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 lowest 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 the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Sterling KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Sterling KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Sterling KS medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Sterling KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Sterling KS area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created 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 integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Sterling KSWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Sterling KS home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Sterling KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Sterling KS physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful 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 indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sterling KS area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both superior 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Sterling KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Sterling medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Sterling KS residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Sterling KS area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sterling Kansas?

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

Sterling, Kansas

For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1867, Rice County was founded.

In the 1890s, Jonathan S. Dillon sold groceries at his general store in Sterling. Later in 1913, he opened his first J.S. Dillon Cash Food Market in Hutchinson. Later he expanded into the Dillons grocery supermarket chain.

Sterling is located at 38°12′38″N 98°12′16″W / 38.21056°N 98.20444°W / 38.21056; -98.20444 (38.210658, -98.204549).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.71 square miles (4.43 km2), of which, 1.67 square miles (4.33 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.[1]

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Sterling KS

Selecting the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Sterling KS.

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