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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Niles 49120

Niles MI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Niles MI is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring 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 considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Niles MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Niles MI private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Niles MI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into 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 Therapy Degrees Available

Niles MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Niles MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Niles MIAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Niles MI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Niles MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing 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 Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 some Niles MI physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Niles MI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Niles MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Niles medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Niles MI residence. Students who have decided 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Niles MI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Niles Michigan?

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

Niles, Michigan

Niles is a city in Berrien and Cass counties in the U.S. state of Michigan, near South Bend, Indiana. In 2010, the population was 11,600 according to the 2010 census. It is the larger, by population, of the two principal cities in the Niles-Benton Harbor Metropolitan Statistical Area, an area with 156,813 people.[6]

Niles lies on the banks of the St. Joseph River, at the site of the French Fort St. Joseph, first built in 1697 to protect the Jesuit Mission established in 1691. After 1761, it was held by the British and was captured on May 25, 1763, by Native Americans during Pontiac's Rebellion. The British retook the fort but it was not re-garrisoned and served as a trading post. During the American Revolutionary War, the fort was held for a short time by a Spanish force. The occupation of the fort by the four nations of France, Britain, Spain, and the United States has earned Niles the nickname City of Four Flags.[7]

The town was named after Hezekiah Niles, editor of the Niles Register, a Baltimore newspaper. The town of Niles as it exists today was settled in 1827. Between 1820 and 1865, Niles was an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape from as far south as New Orleans through the Heartland, and eventually into Canada.[8][9][10]

Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Niles MI

Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important 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 many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Niles MI.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 16

    Chalet of Niles
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