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Wimer Helps 2020 PT Graduates as Part of APTA Task Force

Oct 26, 2021
5 min Read
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Victoria Wimer

The COVID-19 pandemic made everything harder in 2020, but Victoria “Tori” Wimer, DPT’20, helped make things easier.

The call for help came from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), which was forming a Class of 2020 COVID Task Force to help newly graduated physical therapists deal with canceled board exams and negotiate a job search whose procedures had been significantly complicated by anti-COVID measures.

As a well-regarded member of APTA’s National Honor Society during her years at Creighton, Wimer was asked if she could join the task force and help members of the Class of 2020.

“The big things we worked on were, first, studying for our boards,” Wimer says. “We had our board exams canceled so we needed to identify the hurdles people faced in order to take their board exam.”

Once identified, these hurdles were passed on to APTA for action.

“We also did a virtual job fair,” Wimer said. “It wasn’t necessarily to connect students to a job, but just to learn more about what the job market looked like at that point in time for everyone who was about to graduate and would be looking for jobs.”

The need to find a job in their new profession emerged as the top concern for graduates, but COVID-19 restrictions made travel and interviewing in person more difficult.

So Wimer’s task force decided that if students couldn’t easily ask questions of potential employers, then they would make it easier for employers to answer questions without the need for in-person meetings.

“We interviewed heads of HR departments from different companies,” she says. “I just asked them questions about whether they were still hiring, had anything changed in the hiring process, is it still appropriate to negotiate salaries, all those kinds of things.

“We did all this on Zoom and then just compiled videos from the various companies and posted them online where students could access them.”

Wimer, who is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado, earned her undergraduate degree at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, before coming to Creighton to earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy.

She is currently employed by the Denver branch of Select Physical Therapy, a nationwide company.

Creighton’s graduate program is larger and more varied than Gonzaga’s, she says, and a steady stream of Gonzaga students interested in pursuing doctoral degrees in physical therapy end up traveling to Omaha.

“There are a lot of kids from Gonzaga who go to Creighton,” she says. “There were five or six in my class. It makes sense because Gonzaga is another Jesuit school so Creighton has a good relationship with them.”

By Eugene Curtin