Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Oak Park MI

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Oak Park 48237

Oak Park MI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Oak Park MI is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Oak Park MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Oak Park 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Oak Park MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Oak Park MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Oak Park MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

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 offered in the United States. Some practicing 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 Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oak Park MIWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oak Park MI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Oak Park MI area and across Michigan, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. 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 regional or a national organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Oak Park MI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oak Park MI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Oak Park MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Oak Park health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Oak Park MI home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Oak Park MI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oak Park Michigan?

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

Oak Park, Michigan

Oak Park is a city in south Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a northern suburb of the city of Detroit, which is located in neighboring Wayne County, and part of its metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Oak Park is 29,319.

This area was designated as within Royal Oak Township; it was first settled by European Americans in 1840, but remained sparsely populated for many decades following. The first major housing development was constructed in 1914 at the time of World War I, when the township sold land to the Majestic Land Company to be developed as the Oak Park subdivision.[6] The subdivision was incorporated as a village on May 3, 1927. Two petition drives during the Great Depression to dissolve the village government and return it to the township, citing "excessively high cost of village government," failed in 1931 and 1933, respectively.[6] The village incorporated as city on October 29, 1945 following the end of World War II.

Stimulated by the GI Bill which aided veterans in buying new housing, highways to improve commuting, and planned developments in the late 1950s, Oak Park from 1950 to 1960 was named as "America's Fastest Growing City".[7] Its population increased sevenfold, from 5,000 to more than 36,000. Much of its population was second and third-generation children of European immigrants who had settled in Detroit in the early 20th century. These included many Jewish Americans descended from immigrant ancestors from the Russian Empire, including present-day Poland and Ukraine.[citation needed] Major civic improvements in this period included construction of an outdoor swimming pool and an ice rink in Major Park (now known as Shepherd Park, after former mayor David Shepherd, but long known informally as Oak Park Park).

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Oak Park MI

Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to see 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 following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Oak Park MI.

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