Wyoming Physical Therapy Association

New PTA Program LCC Links
 
Is a Career in Physical Therapy for You?

Physical therapists (PTs) play an integral role in the delivery of health care.  PTs provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and limit or prevent disabilities of individuals suffering from disease or injury.  They promote, maintain, and restore overall fitness and health through examination, evaluation, and the development of a treatment plan for their patients.  As a physical therapist, you have the opportunity to work in almost any environment and with any population you wish.  PTs work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and many other growing environments.  The possibilities are only limited by the imagination. 

Job Outlook for Physical Therapists

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2010 due to the increasing number of therapy services needed for the growing elderly population, the increasing number of individuals surviving traumas, and the larger proportion of newborns being saved albeit suffering from birth defects.1  There is also a growing interest in health promotion and preventative medicine which will increase the demand of physical therapy services.1  In 2000, the median annual earnings of physical therapists were $54, 810. 1 

Are You Planning on Applying to Physical Therapy School? 

A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree is normally required before entering a physical therapy program.  The specific degree does not make a significant difference as long as you have completed all of the necessary prerequisite coursework for the specific program you are interested in attending.  Generally, courses that are required when preparing to apply to physical therapy programs include biology, chemistry, physics, social sciences, mathematics, and anatomy and physiology.  Because many programs require a number of hours of observation, think about gaining experience as a volunteer or employee in a physical therapy department in a hospital, private practice clinic, or school. 

Where are the Physical Therapy Educational Programs Located? 

Since there is no physical therapy program available in Wyoming, the resident must go out-of-state to gain the necessary education.  There are a number of accredited programs throughout the Northwest and many participate in the WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) program.  Becoming a WICHE sponsored graduate student from Wyoming will enable you to receive financial assistance at select universities from the surrounding states.  Physical therapy is part of the Professional Student Exchange Program offered by WICHE.  States with programs presently supported through WICHE include Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.2  For more information about the WICHE program, visit http://www.wiche.edu/ and select Wyoming.2  To find a listing of all the Accredited Physical Therapy Professional Programs in the country, visit the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) website at http://www.apta.org/ProspectiveStudents/.3  A great deal of information can be located by visiting the APTA’s website.  When deciding on possible programs, consider the following:

  • Accreditation status of the program

  • Geographic location and size of the school

  • Cost

  • Class size

  • Licensure pass rate

  • Employability

  • Faculty composition and cohesiveness (years working together)

  • Degree awarded

  • Design and length of curriculum

     

Student Loan Repayment Program

http://wdh.state.wy.us/rfhd/rural/loan.html

 

Still Have Questions or Would Like to Talk to a Current Student? 

My name is Becky Newton and I am a second year physical therapy student in the first Doctorate of Physical Therapy Class at Eastern Washington University located in Spokane, WA.  I expect to graduate in June of 2005.  I was born and raised in Buffalo, WY and received my BA in Psychology at Carroll College in Helena, MT.  My husband, who is also from Buffalo, attends Washington State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine located in Pullman, WA.  We would like to return to Wyoming after we graduate to practice as clinicians and start our family.  I would be happy to answer any questions or address any anxieties you may have regarding physical therapy school, the application process, becoming WICHE certified, or any other concerns you might have.  My email address is bnewton7@yahoo.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.   

References 

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03 Ed.  Available at: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos080.htm.  Accessed on January 25, 2004. 
  2. Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  2004. Available at: http://www.wiche.edu/index.asp.  Accessed on January 25, 2004.
  3. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  2004. Available at http://apta.org/Education.  Accessed on January 25, 2004.