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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Nottawa 49075

Nottawa MI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Nottawa MI is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior 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 nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Nottawa MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Nottawa MI hospitals, health clinics, 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Nottawa MI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Nottawa MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Nottawa MI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Nottawa MIAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Nottawa MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Nottawa MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Nottawa MI physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Nottawa MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Nottawa MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Nottawa medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Nottawa MI residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Nottawa MI area, make certain 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Nottawa Michigan?

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

Nottawa Township, Michigan

Choose the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Nottawa MI

Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Nottawa MI.

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    Novacare Rehabilitation
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    Physical Therapy
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    Physical Therapy One
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    Rehab Specialists
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    1908 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024

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    3770 Glenkerry Ct, Portage, MI 49024

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    1125 E Milham, Portage, MI 49002

    NovaCare Rehabilitation
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    6565 W Main St, Ste 101, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

    Core Balance Physical & Vestibular Therapy
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    2026 Parkview Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

    Bronson Orthopedics & Joint Specialists
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    601 John St, Ste M-230, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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    6545 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

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