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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Litchfield 49252

Litchfield MI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Litchfield MI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest 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?

Litchfield MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Litchfield MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Litchfield MI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Litchfield MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Litchfield MI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often incorporate 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 must also 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. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Litchfield MIAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Litchfield MI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Litchfield MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final 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 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Litchfield MI physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest 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 placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Litchfield MI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Michigan or the state where you will be working. 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Litchfield MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Litchfield healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Litchfield MI home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Litchfield MI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Litchfield Michigan?

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

Litchfield, Connecticut

Litchfield is a town in and former county seat of Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States.[4] The population was 8,466 at the 2010 census. The boroughs of Bantam and Litchfield are located within the town. There are also three unincorporated villages: East Litchfield, Milton, and Northfield.

Located southwest of Torrington, Litchfield also includes part of Bantam Lake. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 56.8 square miles (147.1 km²), of which, 56.1 square miles (145.2 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (1.3%) is water.

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 8,316 people, 3,310 households, and 2,303 families residing in the town. The population density was 148.4 people per square mile (57.3/km²). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 64.7 per square mile (25.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.99% White, 0.75% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.

Pick the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Litchfield MI

Selecting the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Litchfield MI.

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