Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Kalkaska MI

How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Kalkaska 49646

Kalkaska MI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Kalkaska MI is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people 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 must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to 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 what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Kalkaska MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Kalkaska MI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Kalkaska MI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapist Degrees Available

Kalkaska MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize 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 available in the Kalkaska MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Kalkaska MIWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kalkaska MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Kalkaska MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist 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 doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Kalkaska MI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kalkaska MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing. 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. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Kalkaska MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Kalkaska medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Kalkaska MI residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kalkaska MI area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kalkaska Michigan?

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

Kalkaska, Michigan

Kalkaska (pronounced /kælˈkæskə/) is a village in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,020 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Kalkaska County.[6] The village is part of Kalkaska Township.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.17 square miles (8.21 km2), of which 3.12 square miles (8.08 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.[1]

The village is situated on an expansive plateau, along with much of Northern Michigan. The Boardman River runs through the village. The primary geography of the north and east of the village proper is flat with gentle hills, with a large amount of farmland. To the south and east, it is noticeably steeper in elevation, with larger amount of water present in the form of streams, to the north a larger amount of water is present in the form of lakes.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Kalkaska MI

Choosing the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach 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 achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Kalkaska MI.

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