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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Topeka 66601

Topeka KS physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Topeka KS is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet 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 residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Topeka KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Topeka KS hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Topeka KS medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Topeka KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Topeka KS area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding 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 Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Topeka KSAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Topeka KS home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Topeka KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Get in touch with some Topeka KS physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with 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 two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Topeka KS area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Topeka KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Topeka health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Topeka KS residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Topeka KS area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure 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 Topeka Kansas?

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

Topeka, Kansas

Topeka (/toʊˈpiːkə/;[9][10]Kansa: Tó Pee Kuh) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County.[2] It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 127,473.[11] The Topeka Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, had a population of 233,870 in the 2010 census.

The name Topeka is a Kansa-Osage sentence that means "place where we dug potatoes",[12] or "a good place to dig potatoes".[13] As a placename, Topeka was first recorded in 1826 as the Kansa name for what is now called the Kansas River. Topeka's founders chose the name in 1855 because it "was novel, of Indian origin and euphonious of sound."[14][15] The mixed-blood Kansa Native American, Joseph James, called Jojim, is credited with suggesting the name of Topeka.[16] The city, laid out in 1854, was one of the Free-State towns founded by Eastern antislavery men immediately after the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Bill. In 1857, Topeka was chartered as a city.

The city is well known for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and declared racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.[17] Three ships of the U.S. Navy have been named USS Topeka after the city.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Topeka KS

Picking the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Topeka KS.

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