Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Sanford MI

How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Sanford 48657

Sanford MI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Sanford MI is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Sanford MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Sanford MI hospitals, health clinics, 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Sanford MI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Sanford MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Sanford MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Sanford MIAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Sanford MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Sanford MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Sanford MI physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with 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 Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sanford MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Sanford MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Sanford health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Sanford MI home. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Sanford MI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sanford Michigan?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sanford MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Sanford, Michigan

In 1864, Charles Sanford, of Madison County, New York, purchased 213 acres (0.86 km2) of land where the village is now located, along with 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of pine land. The site was first known as the "Salt-Spring Reserve", and was the location of the first salt well in the state. Douglass Houghton, the state surveyor and geologist, supervised sinking the shaft of the well. Charles Sanford moved there in May 1864. He platted the village in 1870. Romig identifies Jay F. Hamilton as the first postmaster of Sanfordville on June 23, 1871, while the Portrait and biographical album of Midland county, Mich. lists Phineas Hamilton as the first postmaster. The name was shortened to "Sanford" on July 13, 1871. Also in 1871, the Pere Marquette Railroad built a station in Sanford.

In 1982, Sanford voters approved the repeal of its 1963 village charter and became part of Jerome Township, but a Michigan court overturned the election results on the grounds that it should have been presented as one proposal instead of two.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.55 square miles (4.01 km2), of which 1.27 square miles (3.29 km2) is land and 0.28 square miles (0.73 km2) is water.[1] The water area is made up of the Tittabawassee River and Sanford Lake, which run through the middle of the town.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Sanford MI

Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Sanford MI.

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