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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Willis 48191

Willis MI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Willis MI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury 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 every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Willis MI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Willis MI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Willis MI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Willis 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 choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Willis 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 earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Willis MIWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Willis MI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable 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 learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Willis MI area and across Michigan, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Willis MI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Willis MI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have associations with Willis MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Willis health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Willis MI home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining 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 you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Willis MI area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Willis Michigan?

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

Murder of Jessica Heeringa

Jessica Lynn Heeringa was an engaged mother of a young son who disappeared from her job at an Exxon station in Norton Shores, Michigan on April 26, 2013 and has not been seen or heard from since. She left behind her purse, jacket, cigarettes, money and car. Investigators also found a few drops of blood outside the gas station.[1][2][3] Through a DNA analysis the blood was matched to Heeringa.[4] They also found accessory parts to a gun near the blood.[5]

For the next three and a half years, a 75-member task force of 14 specialized divisions (including aviation, behavioral sciences, technical services, and intelligence analysis) from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies spent 12,000 man hours and conducted a massive investigation that included around 1,400 tips, 33 executed search warrants, 20 consensual residential searches, 12 ground searches, and two underwater searches.[6]

Although Heeringa's remains have not been found, a pair of male cousins have been convicted in relation to her disappearance. In September 2016, a Muskegon Township resident named Jeffrey Willis was charged with her kidnapping and murder, due to forensic evidence and eyewitness statements implicating him in her disappearance.[7] Willis was found guilty of Heeringa's kidnapping and murder on May 16, 2018.[8] He received a life sentence a month later.[9]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Willis MI

Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling 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 exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Willis MI.

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