How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Plymouth 48170
Earning a physical therapy degree near Plymouth MI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Plymouth 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by 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 strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Plymouth MI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Plymouth MI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Plymouth MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Plymouth MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Plymouth MI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Plymouth MI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Plymouth MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Plymouth medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Plymouth MI residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Plymouth MI area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Plymouth Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Plymouth MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.22 square miles (5.75 km2), of which 2.21 square miles (5.72 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water. It is located 15.6 miles (25.1 km) east of Ann Arbor and 26.3 miles (42.3 km) west of Detroit, just south of the M-14 highway and west of Interstate 275.
The City of Plymouth has a variety of shops and restaurants surrounding Kellogg Park, the de facto center of town. The Inn at St. John's, a hotel conference center and golf resort, is located in Plymouth. The city offers more than fifty recreation programs for all age groups, an NHL-size ice arena and twelve parks. It also organizes major community events such as the popular Fall Festival, Ice Sculpture Spectacular and the Art in the Park, and access to the Plymouth-Canton school district, with a unique complex composed of three high schools located on one 305-acre (1.23 km2) campus and is now one of the highest populated high school campuses in the country with close to 6500 students and over 800 faculty members. The Barefoot Productions theater company is located on Main Street.
The Plymouth Ice Spectacular, the largest and oldest ice carving festival in North America, is held every year in Plymouth in late January. Founded in 1982 by then 25-year-old Scott Lorenz, the weekend-long event draws an average of 500,000 people to Plymouth each year and has helped establish ice carving as a world-class competitive event.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Plymouth MI
Picking the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Plymouth MI.
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Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Data | Average PTA Salary by State
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