How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Kingston 48741
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Kingston MI is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just 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 considered in addition to cost and location. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Kingston MI private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Kingston MI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Kingston MI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kingston MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Kingston MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Kingston MI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kingston MI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Kingston MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Kingston medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Kingston MI residence. Students who have opted 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kingston MI area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kingston Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kingston MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kingston is a village in Tuscola County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 440 at the 2010 census. The village is located at the southern edge of Kingston Township and is partially within Koylton Township.
As of the census of 2010, there were 440 people, 163 households, and 120 families residing in the village. The population density was 431.4 inhabitants per square mile (166.6/km2). There were 180 housing units at an average density of 176.5 per square mile (68.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.1% White, 0.5% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.7% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.6% of the population.
There were 163 households of which 37.4% had children under the age of 45 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.4% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.10.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist College near Kingston MI
Choosing the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Kingston MI.
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