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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Valley Falls 66088

Valley Falls KS physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Valley Falls KS is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Valley Falls KS physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Valley Falls KS hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Valley Falls KS health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Valley Falls KS physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Valley Falls KS area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Valley Falls KSAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Valley Falls KS residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Valley Falls KS area and across Kansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 some Valley Falls KS physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea 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 Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Valley Falls KS area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Valley Falls KS clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Valley Falls health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Valley Falls KS residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Valley Falls KS area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Valley Falls Kansas?

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

Valley Falls, Kansas

Valley Falls was originally called Grasshopper Falls, from the falls in the Grasshopper River (now known as the Delaware River).[7] The first settlement was made there in 1854, and the town was platted in 1855. Many of the town's streets were named after women pioneer settlers.[8]

Valley Falls is located at 39°20′35″N 95°27′38″W / 39.34306°N 95.46056°W / 39.34306; -95.46056 (39.342936, -95.460584).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.78 square miles (2.02 km2), of which, 0.77 square miles (1.99 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Valley Falls has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[10]

Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Valley Falls KS

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Valley Falls KS.

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