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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Shelby 49455

Shelby MI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Shelby MI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Shelby MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Shelby 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Shelby MI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into 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 Therapy Degrees Offered

Shelby MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Shelby MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Shelby MIAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Shelby MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Shelby MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Shelby MI physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 Shelby MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Shelby MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, 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 Shelby health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Shelby MI residence. 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 area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide 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 often 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 Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide 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 must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Shelby MI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Shelby Michigan?

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

Shelby, Michigan

Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Shelby MI

Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Shelby MI.

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