How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near River Rouge 48218
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near River Rouge MI is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet 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 cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including River Rouge MI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other River Rouge MI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become 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 brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the River Rouge MI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required 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 take 4 years to complete and commonly include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing 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 Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s River Rouge MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the River Rouge MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several River Rouge MI physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 River Rouge MI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior 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. Although licensing requirements differ 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 Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with River Rouge MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the River Rouge healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind 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. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their River Rouge MI home. Those 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. One thing to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the River Rouge MI area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near River Rouge Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the River Rouge MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
River Rouge, Michigan
River Rouge is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan and an industrial Downriver suburb of Detroit. The population was 7,903 at the 2010 census. It is named after the River Rouge (from the French "rouge" meaning red), which flows along the city's northern border and into the Detroit River. The city includes the heavily industrialized Zug Island at the mouth of the River Rouge.
The small settlement incorporated as a village in 1899 within Ecorse Township. In 1922 as the city of Detroit expressed interested in annexing land in the township, the Village of River Rouge incorporated as a city on April 3 to avoid being annexed. A month later Detroit completed annexation of land in the township immediately to the west of River Rouge.
One of the most important historical associations with River Rouge is its relationship to the Great Lakes freighter, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in 1975 in a fierce storm on the lakes, with the loss of all 29 crew. The ship was constructed in 1958 at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge and was the largest ship on the lakes at the time.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy College near River Rouge MI
Selecting the right physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in River Rouge MI.
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Working as a physical therapist assistant in the U.S. requires state licensure, and licensure in all 50 states requires passing the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). Therefore, potential PTA students may want to consider first those programs with higher NPTE pass rates for their graduates.