How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Sand Lake 49343
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Sand Lake MI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Sand Lake MI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve 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.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Sand Lake MI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Sand Lake MI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Sand Lake MI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Sand Lake MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality 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 select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Sand Lake MI physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent 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 useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sand Lake MI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Sand Lake MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Sand Lake healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 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 talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Sand Lake MI residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sand Lake MI area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sand Lake Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sand Lake MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Sand Lake, Michigan
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.74 square miles (1.92 km2), of which, 0.71 square miles (1.84 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 500 people, 188 households, and 116 families residing in the village. The population density was 625 per square mile. There were 211 housing units at an average density of 263.75 per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 94.6% White, 0.80% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.2% of the population.
There were 188 households of which 34% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 33% of all households were made up of individuals and 26.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.34.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Sand Lake MI
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Sand Lake MI.
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