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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Marion 49665

Marion MI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Marion MI is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Marion MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Marion MI private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Marion MI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Marion MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Marion 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. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

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 available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Marion MIWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near 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 Marion MI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable 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 advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Marion MI area and across Michigan, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online program, 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, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 also. Contact a few Marion MI physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It might 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 colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Marion MI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Marion MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Marion health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance 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 a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Marion MI residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marion MI area, make sure 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 need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Marion Michigan?

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

Marion, Michigan

Marion is a village in Osceola County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 872 at the 2010 census. The village is located within Marion Township. It is the home of Alma College Football player, Camren Turner.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.39 square miles (3.60 km2), of which 1.35 square miles (3.50 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.[1]

Marion was named after Marion Clark. She and her husband Christopher settled in the area and began a logging camp with a saw mill. The Clarks also started a general store, delivered mail, and taught school.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Marion MI

Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Marion MI.

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