Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Union City MI

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Union City 49094

Union City MI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Union City MI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Union City MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Union City MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Union City MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Union City MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Union City MI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Union City MIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Union City MI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Union City MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also receive 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 agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Union City MI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be a good idea 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Union City MI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Union City MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical 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 assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Union City medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for 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 classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Union City MI residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Union City MI area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Union City Michigan?

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

Union City, Michigan

Union City is a village in Branch and Calhoun counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. Located mostly within Union Township in Branch County, it sits at the junction of the Coldwater and St. Joseph rivers; the Calhoun County portion lies within that county's Burlington Township. It is part of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,599 at the 2010 census.

Union City is located on the northern border of Branch County, about ten miles (16 km) northwest of Coldwater. This is a small picturesque and historic town that functions primarily as an adjunct community to the greater Coldwater and Battle Creek areas. It has a striking turn-of-the-century look architecturally, with well–preserved downtown buildings and several Victorian style homes. A Civil War monument can be seen on the north end of the main street area in the churchyard, while a veteran’s memorial along the riverbank to the south end commemorates those who fought in more recent wars.

Union City was first settled by Justin Goodwin in 1833, when he built a mill here and became the first postmaster, calling it "Goodwinville". A year later, he sold several hundred acres to E. W. Morgan, who officially platted the site, renaming it from the "union" of the Coldwater and St. Joseph Rivers, which join there. A consortium of four proprietors bought the site in 1837. It was eventually incorporated as a village in 1866.[6]

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Union City MI

Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Union City MI.

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