How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Howard City 49329
Earning a physical therapy degree near Howard City MI is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Howard City MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Howard City MI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Howard City MI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Howard City MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Howard City MI area and across Michigan, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality 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 imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Howard City MI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Michigan 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 couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Howard City MI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Howard City MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Howard City health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on 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 tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Howard City MI residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Howard City MI area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Howard City Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Howard City MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Howard City, Michigan
Benjamin Ensley owned the land on which he, E. W. Muenscher, and Mr. Shaw began the settlement that Muenscher platted in 1868. It was named for William A. Howard, a Detroit railroad attorney. The Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad depot opened in 1869. A post office was established on January 12, 1870, with John B. Spencer as the first postmaster. It incorporated as a village in 1873. The post office name was shortened to "Howard" on February 2, 1895, but restored to Howard City on January 19, 1899.
Main street was initially constructed on Ensley Street, which was named after early settler Benjamin Ensley. In 1883, however, many of the wooden buildings on Ensley street burned down. Main Street was then shifted over to Edgerton Street, where it still stands today. The Hudson Knife factory and The Skinner and Steenman sideboard factory were two of the earliest businesses. Later, Hudson Knife Co. went through changes and became the Joslin and eventually Olsen Knife Company, which had the somewhat famous jingle, "Fatty Fatty run for your life, here comes Skinny with an Olsen Knife." Howard City schools were combined with Sand Lake schools to the south in 1962, and renamed Tri County, because students from Kent, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties all attended. The school still runs under the same moniker today.
Tri County Area Schools is the main school district in Howard City. Schools include Tri County High School, Tri County Middle School, MacNaughten Elementary, Sand Lake Elementary and Edgerton Upper Elementary. The School mascot is the Viking. Sports include football, basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling, sideline cheer, competitive cheer, golf, track and field, cross country, bowling, poms and soccer. In 2009, the varsity softball team took a District title, but fell short at regionals to Petosky. Neighboring schools include Newaygo, Grant, Morley-Stanwood, Lakeview and Cedar Springs.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Howard City MI
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Howard City MI.
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Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Data | Average PTA Salary by State
While a physical therapist assistant salary of $47,690 was attributed to the bottom 25% of PTA wage earners and $80,840 to the top 10% of salaried PTAs. If you are interested in a career as a PTA then use the salary data on this page to learn how much a physical therapy assistant salary is in your region and specific industry.
How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in 7 Steps
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Physical Therapist Assistant - Keiser University
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Working as a physical therapist assistant in the U.S. requires state licensure, and licensure in all 50 states requires passing the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). Therefore, potential PTA students may want to consider first those programs with higher NPTE pass rates for their graduates.