How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Rochester 48306
Getting a physical therapist degree near Rochester MI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply 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 location and cost. But before we discuss 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 a variety of settings, such as Rochester 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Rochester MI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in 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 stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Rochester MI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rochester MI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Rochester MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want 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 colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might 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 important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Rochester 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 might also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest 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 Rochester MI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Rochester MI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Rochester healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Rochester MI residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Rochester MI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rochester Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rochester MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The first settlers in what would become Rochester, the Graham family, built a log cabin in 1817. The cabin was located where the Quik Pik and Penn Station stores today exist at the intersection of Main and Second Street. The city was named for Rochester, New York, just like Rochester, Minnesota, as many early settlers to the area were formerly from the state of New York.
The city became an industrial center with abundant water power from the Clinton River and Paint Creek. The interconnected waterways are no longer used for travel or local industry, but provide natural beauty, some fishing, and a healthy portion of the Clinton Watershed. Historically, past industries formerly located in Rochester included a refinery for sugar beets, a paper products company, and the Western Knitting Mills factory, which was later adapted and utilized during World War II for incendiary production—businesses that no longer exist in the area. Rochester was served by two railroads as well as the Detroit United Railway, an interurban to Royal Oak and Detroit.
Chapman Mill Pond, east of downtown, disappeared into the Paint Creek when the dam broke during the flood of 1946. The reclaimed land is the site of the current post office, Rochester Hills library, and Olde Towne Road. Water Street, formerly situated at the edge of the large pond, remains by its name a reminder of the pond's former existence.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Rochester MI
Selecting the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Rochester MI.
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