How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Wathena 66090
Getting a physical therapy degree near Wathena KS is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Wathena 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Wathena KS medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Wathena KS area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available 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 requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wathena KS residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Wathena KS area and across Kansas, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Wathena KS physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wathena KS area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although 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 supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Wathena KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Wathena medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Wathena KS home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wathena KS area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wathena Kansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wathena KS area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wathena is located at 39°45′44″N 94°56′53″W / 39.76222°N 94.94806°W / 39.76222; -94.94806 (39.762161, -94.948117). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.31 square miles (5.98 km2), of which 2.28 square miles (5.91 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,364 people, 550 households, and 365 families residing in the city. The population density was 598.2 inhabitants per square mile (231.0/km2). There were 587 housing units at an average density of 257.5 per square mile (99.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 1.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
There were 550 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.92.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Wathena KS
Picking the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Wathena KS.
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