How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Summerfield Kansas
Getting a physical therapist degree near Summerfield KS is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Summerfield KS private practices, hospitals, 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 patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Summerfield KS medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Summerfield KS area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Summerfield KS residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Summerfield KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring 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 Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into 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. Contact some Summerfield KS physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Kansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Summerfield KS area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Summerfield KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Summerfield medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide 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 therapist colleges you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Summerfield KS home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Summerfield KS area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Summerfield Kansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Summerfield KS area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Summerfield is located at 39°59′47″N 96°20′57″W / 39.99639°N 96.34917°W / 39.99639; -96.34917 (39.996439, -96.349249). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 156 people, 79 households, and 41 families residing in the city. The population density was 458.8 inhabitants per square mile (177.1/km2). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 314.7 per square mile (121.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.1% White, 0.6% African American, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 79 households of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.1% were non-families. 39.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.68.
Online Classes For Physical Therapy Assistant Summerfield KS
Choosing the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Online Classes For Physical Therapy Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Summerfield KS.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Kansas