How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Midland 48640
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Midland MI is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Midland MI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Midland MI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Midland MI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up 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. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often 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 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion 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 offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Midland MI home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Midland MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program 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 doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Midland MI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure 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 Midland MI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Midland MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Midland medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Midland MI residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Midland MI area, make certain 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Midland Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Midland MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Midland is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan in the Tri-Cities region of Central Michigan. It is the county seat of Midland County. The city's population was 41,863 as of the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Midland Micropolitan Statistical Area, part of the larger Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area. In 2010, Midland was named the no. 4 Best Small City to raise a family in by Forbes magazine.
By the late 1820s, Midland was established as a fur trading post of the American Fur Company supervised by the post at Saginaw. Here agents purchased furs from Ojibwe trappers. The Campau family of Detroit operated an independent trading post at this location in the late 1820s.
The Dow Chemical Company was founded in Midland in 1897, and its world headquarters are still located there. Through the influence of a Dow Chemical plant opening in Handa, Aichi, Japan, Midland and Handa have become sister cities. The Dow Corning Corporation and Chemical Bank are also headquartered in Midland.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Midland MI
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Midland MI.
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