How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Pellston 49769
Getting a physical therapist degree near Pellston MI is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Pellston MI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Pellston MI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Pellston MI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing 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 Schools Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Pellston MI residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Pellston MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’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 as well. Contact some Pellston MI physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It might also be a good idea 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 Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pellston MI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. 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 program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Pellston MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Pellston health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Pellston MI home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 have 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pellston MI area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pellston Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pellston MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pellston is a village in Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 822 at the 2010 census. The village is the home of Pellston Regional Airport. Its motto is "Icebox of the Nation"; Pellston recorded the state of Michigan's record low temperature, at −53 °F (−47 °C), in 1933, and every winter is regularly called out in national weather reports, along with towns such as Big Piney, Wyoming, Fraser, Colorado and International Falls, Minnesota, as one of the coldest spots in the nation.
The village lies on the boundary between Maple River and McKinley townships on US Highway 31. Interstate 75 is about 10 miles (16 km) east of Pellston. Mackinaw City and the Mackinac Bridge are approximately 18 miles (29 km) north and Petoskey is about 20 miles (32 km) southwest of the village. The University of Michigan Biological Station is on nearby Douglas Lake.
As of the census of 2010, there were 822 people, 308 households, and 216 families residing in the village. The population density was 430.4 inhabitants per square mile (166.2/km2). There were 364 housing units at an average density of 190.6 per square mile (73.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 86.5% White, 0.2% African American, 8.0% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 4.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy School near Pellston MI
Picking the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental 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 fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Pellston MI.
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