Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Ottawa Lake MI

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Ottawa Lake 49267

Ottawa Lake MI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Ottawa Lake MI is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Ottawa Lake MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Ottawa Lake MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course 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 abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Ottawa Lake MI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Ottawa Lake MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Ottawa Lake MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent 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 usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Ottawa Lake MIAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Ottawa Lake MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number 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.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Ottawa Lake MI area and across Michigan, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may 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 simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Ottawa Lake MI physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ottawa Lake MI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Ottawa Lake MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Ottawa Lake healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Ottawa Lake 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering 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 scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Ottawa Lake MI area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ottawa Lake Michigan?

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

Ottawa County, Michigan

Ottawa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the United States 2010 Census, the population was 263,801.[2] The county seat is Grand Haven.[3] The county is named for the Ottawa Nation. It was set off in 1831 and organized in 1837.[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 263,801 people residing in the county. 90.1% were White, 2.6% Asian, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.4% of some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 8.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 31.0% were of Dutch, 14.2% German, 5.8% English and 5.7% Irish ancestry.[10]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[11] there were 238,314 people, 81,662 households, and 61,328 families in the county. The population density was 421 people per square mile (163/km²). There were 86,856 housing units at an average density of 154 per square mile (59/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.52% White, 1.05% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 2.09% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.48% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. 7.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.3% reported being of Dutch, 14.6% German, 6.2% English, 5.6% Irish and 5.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.5% spoke only English at home; 5.4% spoke Spanish.

Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Ottawa Lake MI

Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Ottawa Lake MI.

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