Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Rapid City MI

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Rapid City 49676

Rapid City MI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Rapid City MI is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Rapid City MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Rapid City MI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Rapid City MI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

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

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Rapid City MIAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rapid City MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might 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 advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy 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 so many PT schools within the Rapid City MI area and across Michigan, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

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

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Rapid City MI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see 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 need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Rapid City MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Rapid City MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Rapid City healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely 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 average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Rapid City MI home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Rapid City MI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Rapid City Michigan?

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

Rapid City, South Dakota

Rapid City (Lakota: Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe;[7] "Swift Water City") is the second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County.[8] Named after Rapid Creek, on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. The population was 67,956 as of the 2010 Census.[9]

Known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and the "City of Presidents", it is split by a low mountain ridge that divides the western and eastern parts of the city. Ellsworth Air Force Base is located on the outskirts of the city. Camp Rapid, a part of the South Dakota Army National Guard, is located in the western part of the city. The historic "Old West" town of Deadwood is nearby. In the neighboring Black Hills are the popular tourist attractions of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.

The public discovery of gold in 1874 by the Black Hills Expedition brought a mass influx of settlers into the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Rapid City was founded, and originally known as "Hay Camp", in 1876 by a group of disappointed miners, who promoted their new city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills". John Richard Brennan and Samuel Scott, with a small group of men, laid out the site of the present Rapid City in February 1876, which was named for the spring-fed Rapid Creek that flows through it. A square mile was measured off and the six blocks in the center were designated as a business section. Committees were appointed to bring in prospective merchants and their families to locate in the new settlement. The city soon began selling supplies to miners and pioneers. Its location on the edge of the Plains and Hills and its large river valley made it the natural hub of railroads arriving in the late 1880s from both the south and east. By 1900, Rapid City had survived a boom and bust and was establishing itself as an important regional trade center for the upper midwest.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Rapid City MI

Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rapid City MI.

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