How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Livonia 48150
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Livonia MI is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Livonia MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment 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 often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Livonia MI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, 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 Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Livonia MI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Livonia MI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist 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 schools within the Livonia MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Livonia MI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure 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 Livonia MI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Livonia MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Livonia medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Livonia MI residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Livonia MI area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Livonia Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Livonia MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Livonia is a city in the northwest part of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Livonia is a large suburb with an array of traditional neighborhoods (most of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s) connected to the metropolitan area by freeways. The population was 96,942 at the 2010 census, making it Michigan's ninth largest municipality. The municipality is a part of Metro Detroit, and is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) northwest of downtown Detroit, and less than two miles (3 km) from the western city limits of Detroit (Redford Township lies between the two).
First settled by pioneers from New England and New York, an act by the Legislature of the Territory of Michigan established the borders of Livonia Township on March 17, 1835. The settlers brought with them the name "Livonia", a name that had already been given to Livonia, New York, Livonia, Pennsylvania and a region on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea named Livonia in present-day Estonia and Latvia, from which many early settlers came.
During the days of the city being a township, many small communities have existed. One of these was Elmwood, initially known as McKinley's Station. It was a stop on the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad. It had a post office from 1858 until 1906. There was a post office in the township named Giltedge from 1899 until 1902.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Livonia MI
Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Livonia MI.
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