Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Valley Center KS

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Valley Center 67147

Valley Center KS physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Valley Center KS is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to 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 the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Valley Center KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Valley Center KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Valley Center KS medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Valley Center KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Valley Center KS area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Valley Center KSAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Valley Center KS home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Valley Center KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 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 just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Valley Center KS physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program 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 filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Valley Center KS area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Valley Center KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Valley Center health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Valley Center KS residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Valley Center KS area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Valley Center Kansas?

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

Valley Center, Kansas

On the morning of July 17, 2007, a large explosion occurred at the Barton Solvents chemical plant in Valley Center, destroying the plant and forcing the temporary evacuation of the city.[8] Cleanup began several weeks later,[9] and the investigation was completed by mid-August.[10]

Valley Center is located at 37°49′47″N 97°22′10″W / 37.82972°N 97.36944°W / 37.82972; -97.36944 (37.829719, -97.369341).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.95 square miles (18.00 km2), all of it land.[1]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 6,822 people, 2,484 households, and 1,862 families residing in the city. The population density was 981.6 inhabitants per square mile (379.0/km2). There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 374.2 per square mile (144.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.8% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Valley Center KS

Choosing the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Valley Center KS.

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