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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Sturgis 49091

Sturgis MI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Sturgis MI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people 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 must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Sturgis MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Sturgis MI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Sturgis MI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Sturgis MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Sturgis MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete 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 seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Sturgis MIAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Sturgis MI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Sturgis MI area and across Michigan, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Sturgis MI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Sturgis MI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study 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. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Sturgis MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Sturgis health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Sturgis MI residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to 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 classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Sturgis MI area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sturgis Michigan?

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

Sturgis, Michigan

Sturgis is a city in St. Joseph County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 10,994 at the 2010 census. The city is located at the northeast corner of Sturgis Township and at the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 (US 12) and M-66. Sturgis is just off the Michigan / Indiana border and the I-80/90 Indiana Toll Road.

Sturgis is located at 41°47′57″N 85°25′09″W / 41.79917°N 85.41917°W / 41.79917; -85.41917.[6] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.49 square miles (16.81 km2), all land.[1]

The City owns and operates Kirsch Municipal Airport (KIRS), which is located in northeast corner of the City. Kirsch Municipal is a general aviation airport and features two runways; the primary runway is 5,200 feet long with a secondary, crosswind runway 3,457 feet long.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Sturgis MI

Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Sturgis MI.

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