How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Ortonville 48462
Getting a physical therapy degree near Ortonville MI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Ortonville MI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Ortonville MI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Ortonville 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Ortonville MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Ortonville MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Ortonville MI physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ortonville MI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Ortonville MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Ortonville medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Ortonville MI home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ortonville MI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative 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 Ortonville Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ortonville MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ortonville is a village in north Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The village is within Brandon Township, although some development near the village lies within adjacent Oakland county, Groveland township and Lapeer County, Hadley township. The population was 1,442 at the 2010 census. Ortonville lies on the northern edge of Metro Detroit and is approximately 41 miles north of Downtown Detroit.
Ortonville, a northern rural village in Oakland County, was founded in 1848 by Amos Orton, who built a dam across Kearsley Creek to furnish water power for his gristmill. The town was platted in 1866 and incorporated as a village in 1902. It is located about halfway between Pontiac and Flint.
Ortonville's primary public schools are Brandon Schools, in Brandon Township. Students are mostly Brandon, Groveland Township and Hadley Township residents with a few from surrounding areas of northern Clarkston and eastern Oxford. Brandon High School is the home of the Blackhawks. The athletic teams compete in the Flint Metro League.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Ortonville MI
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Ortonville MI.
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