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SCC Alumna has “Greatest Job in the World”

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Surry Community College alumna Laykn Reeves, Director of Rehab at Wilkes Health and Rehabilitation in North Wilkesboro, says she has the “greatest job in the world.”

In 2015, Reeves earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Surry Community College, then passed the Physical Therapist Assistant licensure board examination, all of which enabled her to have this position.

Reeves said that when she finished high school in 2012, she felt options for college were somewhat limited in this general vicinity. Immediately after high school graduation, she attended Wilkes Community College to study education, but realized physical therapy was her true calling while job shadowing a family member.

“What really hooked me was a patient who was a double amputee. This person had lost an arm below the elbow and a leg below the knee on opposite sides of her body. After working through a physical therapy plan, this person became able to do all the things she needed to do by herself. It totally changed my whole outlook.”

After she applied to a few colleges, she realized SCC was the most responsive to her application and questions, also allowing her to finish her degree and certificate earlier, so her choice was clear. Her plans were to get an associate degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, become a licensed PTA, and then continue her education to become a Physical Therapist.

Her plans changed when she started working as a PTA. “I found I enjoyed this job so much that I decided to stay being a PTA,” Reeves said. “This job gives me great opportunities to get to know my patients and their families. I like to be a ‘fixer,’ and this career lets me fix things for people.”

As Director of Rehab, Reeves oversees many facets of patient care. She started at Wilkes Health & Rehabilitation part-time in 2015, working as needed to help with patient care, before coming on full-time in 2017. Her goal was to help end the stigma that rehab and nursing homes are sad places, a goal she now feels she’s accomplished. In 2020, she was offered the position of Assistant Director of Rehab at the facility, and then in December of 2022, she was promoted to the director’s position she currently holds where she oversees skilled care and assisted living, works with insurance companies for approval and authorizations of payments, and most importantly to her, oversees treatment plans to make sure what’s being done for patients is in their very best interest.

Reeves stressed that becoming a PTA rather than her initial plan of becoming a Physical Therapist has in no way limited what she wants from a very rewarding career.

“My degree and license gave me avenues to reach my goals of a satisfying career and even more opportunities for helping people,” she said. “If you have a goal, you can reach it if you just keep on working towards it. My education at SCC helped me blossom into a position of more responsibility and authority. I was not limited in fulfilling my career goals.”

Reeves finalized by saying, “I have a great team, and we see so much good come from our treatment of patients, not only for themselves, but also for their families.”

If you’d like to find out more about enrolling in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Surry Community College, contact Dr. Eileen Coleman, Director of PTA Program, at (336) 386-3513 or colemanei@surry.edu, or feel free to visit surry.edu.

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