How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Waterville 66548
Getting a physical therapist degree near Waterville KS is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 settings, including Waterville KS private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Waterville KS medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Waterville KS area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Waterville KS residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Waterville KS area and throughout Kansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required 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 imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Waterville KS physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Waterville KS area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Waterville KS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Waterville health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Waterville KS residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required 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 Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Waterville KS area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. 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 Waterville Kansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Waterville KS area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Waterville is located at 39°41.5′N 96°45′W / 39.6917°N 96.750°W / 39.6917; -96.750. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.50 square miles (1.29 km2), of which, 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 680 people, 294 households, and 192 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,387.8 inhabitants per square mile (535.8/km2). There were 331 housing units at an average density of 675.5 per square mile (260.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.4% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 294 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.7% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.90.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Waterville KS
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Waterville KS.
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