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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Lansing 48901

Lansing MI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Lansing MI is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated 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 get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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?

Lansing MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Lansing MI 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Lansing MI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Lansing MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Lansing MI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lansing MIWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lansing MI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable 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 benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Lansing MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Lansing MI physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 Lansing 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 verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan 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 school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Lansing MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Lansing medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost 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 considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Lansing MI home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lansing MI area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have 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 Lansing Michigan?

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

Lansing, Michigan

Lansing /ˈlænsɪŋ/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297,[7] making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.

The Lansing Metropolitan Area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. The area is home to two medical schools, one veterinary school, two nursing schools, two law schools—including Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law, the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies.

Lansing is the only U.S. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. The seat of government of Ingham County is Mason,[8] but the county maintains some offices in Lansing.[9]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Lansing MI

Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach 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 right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Lansing MI.

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