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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Pickford 49774

Pickford MI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Pickford MI is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select 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 in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Pickford MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Pickford MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Pickford MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Pickford MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Pickford MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

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 United States. Some licensed 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 instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Pickford MIWhile not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pickford MI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, 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 Pickford MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Pickford MI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pickford MI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Pickford MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Pickford medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several 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 therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Pickford MI residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pickford MI area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pickford Michigan?

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

Pickford Township, Michigan

Pickford Township is located in southeastern Chippewa County on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is bordered to the south by Mackinac County. The northeastern part of the township extends into Munuscong Lake, a large bay on the St. Marys River. The Munuscong River flows through the center of the township into Munuscong Lake, passing the communities of Pickford, Stirlingville, and Kelden.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 119.5 square miles (309.5 km2), of which 108.3 square miles (280.4 km2) is land and 11.3 square miles (29.2 km2), or 9.42%, is water.[3]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,584 people, 607 households, and 475 families residing in the township. The population density was 14.6 per square mile (5.6/km²). There were 776 housing units at an average density of 7.2 per square mile (2.8/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 92.11% White, 0.06% African American, 5.81% Native American, 0.06% Asian, and 1.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.38% of the population.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Pickford MI

Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Pickford MI.

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