How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Reed City 49677
Earning a physical therapist degree near Reed City MI is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled 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 receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Reed City MI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Reed City MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Reed City 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 obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 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 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 total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Reed City MI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Reed City MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Reed City MI physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Reed City MI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Reed City MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Reed City health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Reed City MI residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Reed City MI area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Reed City Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Reed City MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Reed City, Michigan
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,425 people, 1,007 households, and 582 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,165.9 inhabitants per square mile (450.2/km2). There were 1,136 housing units at an average density of 546.2 per square mile (210.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 1.7% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 1,007 households of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.2% were non-families. 38.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.98.
The median age in the city was 36.1 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.1% were from 25 to 44; 21.4% were from 45 to 64; and 17.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.9% male and 55.1% female.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Reed City MI
Choosing the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed 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 relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Reed City MI.
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