How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Richmond 48062
Earning a physical therapy degree near Richmond MI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Richmond MI private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Richmond MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Richmond MI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined 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 can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Richmond MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Richmond MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’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 organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Richmond MI physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school 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 Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Richmond MI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Richmond MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Richmond healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Richmond MI residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Richmond MI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Richmond Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Richmond MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Richmond is a city on the border between Macomb and St. Clair counties within Metro Detroit and the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,735 at the 2010 census. Most of the city is located in Macomb County, though there is a small portion in St. Clair County. The city is adjacent to Richmond Township and Lenox Township in Macomb County, although it is administratively autonomous. It is also adjacent to St. Clair County's Columbus Township and Casco Township.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,735 people residing in the city. The population density was 2,012.3 inhabitants per square mile (777.0/km2). There were 2,479 housing units at an average density of 869.8 per square mile (335.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 1.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.6% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,897 people, 1,977 households, and 1,332 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,691.6 per square mile (654.2/km²). There were 2,062 housing units at an average density of 712.3 per square mile (275.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.43% White, 0.25% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 1.86% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.74% of the population.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Richmond MI
Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Richmond MI.
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