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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Pontiac 48340

Pontiac MI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Pontiac MI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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?

Pontiac MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Pontiac MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Pontiac MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Pontiac MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Pontiac MI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally 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 licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Pontiac MIWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pontiac MI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Pontiac MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Pontiac MI physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Pontiac MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing. 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 fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Pontiac MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Pontiac healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Pontiac MI home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pontiac MI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pontiac Michigan?

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

Pontiac, Michigan

Pontiac (/ˈpɒntiæk, ˈpɒni-/) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located in Metro Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 59,515. It is the county seat of Oakland County[5] and about 12 miles (19 km) north and slightly west of the Detroit city limits.

Founded in 1818, Pontiac is notably the second European-American organized settlement in Michigan within close proximity to Detroit, second only to Dearborn. It was named after Pontiac, a war chief of the Ottawa people who had occupied the area before the European settlers. The city achieved its widest reputation for its General Motors automobile manufacturing plants of the 20th century, which were the basis of its economy and contributed to the wealth of the region. These included Fisher Body, Pontiac East Assembly (a.k.a. Truck & Coach/Bus), which manufactured GMC products, and the Pontiac Motor Division. In the city's heyday, this was the primary automobile assembly plant where the famed Pontiac cars were produced, a brand that was named after the city. (The Pontiac name was discontinued by General Motors in 2010.) The City of Pontiac also was home to Oakland Motor Car Company, which was acquired by General Motors in 1909.

In 1975, the city built the Pontiac Silverdome, the stadium that hosted the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1975 to 2001, when the team returned to Downtown Detroit at Ford Field. Super Bowl XVI was played at the Silverdome in 1982. After 2001, the stadium continued to be used for concerts and other events until it was demolished in 2017.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Pontiac MI

Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Pontiac MI.

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