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

How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Wakefield 49968

Wakefield MI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Wakefield MI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling 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 may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover 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’s Job Description?

Wakefield MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Wakefield MI private practices, hospitals, 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Wakefield MI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Wakefield MI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Wakefield MI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

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

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Wakefield MIAlthough not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wakefield MI home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, 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 Wakefield MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick 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 therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Wakefield MI physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wakefield MI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Wakefield MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience 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 Wakefield health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Wakefield MI home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wakefield MI area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wakefield Michigan?

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

Wakefield

Wakefield was dubbed the "Merrie City" in the Middle Ages[2] and in 1538 John Leland described it as, "a very quick market town and meately large; well served of fish and flesh both from sea and by rivers ... so that all vitaile is very good and chepe there. A right honest man shall fare well for 2d. a meal. ... There be plenti of se coal in the quarters about Wakefield".[nb 1]

The Battle of Wakefield took place in the Wars of the Roses and it was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War. Wakefield became an important market town and centre for wool, exploiting its position on the navigable River Calder to become an inland port.

In the 18th century, Wakefield traded in corn, coal mining and textiles and in 1888 its parish church acquired cathedral status. It became the county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire and was the seat of the West Riding County Council from 1889 until 1974, when the county and council were abolished, and of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1974 until its dissolution in 1986.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Wakefield MI

Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Wakefield MI.

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