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PT/OT Comparison

Physical and occupational therapists both work with individuals to improve their ability to live independent and satisfying lives.  Which area is right for a given student depends upon the student's personality and interest.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics,  Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition provides the following descriptions of the two areas:

Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition.  Occupational therapists use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients.  The therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function.  The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease.  They restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health.  Their patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy.

Entrance into both fields requires students to earn a bachelor's degree and complete various experiential and academic requirements before applying to professional programs.

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College of Health Sciences

Pre-Professional Health Advising

Health Sciences 110

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3878


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