Surry Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program has relocated to the college’s Yadkin Center in Yadkinville. This move provides the opportunity to gain an education in a healthcare field that is expected to grow faster than many other professions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Surry’s PTA Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Admission to the PTA program is a competitive process as only 16 students are admitted each fall semester. The deadline for application materials is May 31.
The program is now housed in a large space, which previously served as a multi-purpose area for the Yadkin Center. The area includes spaces for lecture, lab practices and group activities. The space includes computers for students to conduct research concerning evidence-based practice. It also includes a breakroom for notetaking and two offices for instructors.
SCC Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director, Dr. Eileen Coleman, feels that the new location has helped to unify the students. Says Coleman, “Having the program located within one space makes it easier for students to learn and practice their skills and approach the instructors when they need help. Our offices are located within the classroom space, so they always know where they can find us.”
Coleman, along with Jessica Lawrence, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, have also implemented new strategies for their students to help bring unity between the different classes.
“We currently have our second-year students partnering with first-year students to help them study and review material for exams. It helps the first-year students to work with someone who was just in their shoes one year ago, and it helps to provide review for the second-year students.”
The PTA Program at Surry Community College has current contracts with a variety of clinical sites and hospital systems throughout the state of North Carolina, and in other states as well. The program’s relocation to the Yadkin Center has provided a more central location for students in relationship to their clinical sites.
Second-year student Alexandria Hawks, of Mount Airy, is preparing to begin her next clinical rotation in the acute care setting. Says Hawks, “I’m very excited. The program is very intense, but that has its benefits. Our instructors provide a variety of information to help us on our journeys in the program, and the new facility has plenty of space for us to work in.”
The Yadkin Center is also more centrally located to the students’ hometowns, with some students traveling from as far as Mooresville and Burlington for class.
Coleman is proud of her students and hopes that the Yadkin Center facility will help them grow and develop as students.
“We have a high pass-rate for our program and there are job opportunities in a variety of settings in this field,” she says.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at SCC has always exceeded an ultimate pass rate of at least 88 percent. For five different years, students have achieved a first-time pass rate of 100 percent. Employment opportunities are available in this region and beyond to students upon graduation and passage of the national board exam.
The Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum prepares graduates to work in direct patient care settings under the supervision of physical therapists. Assistants work to improve or restore function by alleviation or prevention of physical impairment and perform other essential activities in a physical therapy department.
Course work includes normal human anatomy and physiology, the consequences of disease or injury, and physical therapy treatment of a variety of patient conditions affecting humans throughout the life span. Graduates may be eligible to take the licensure examination administered by the N.C. Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.
Associate Dean of Health Sciences, Dr. Yvonne Johnson, adds, “Physical therapist assistants enjoy stable employment in an exciting field. Graduates of the PTA program can expect to be employed in hospitals, home health care, and nursing care facilities along with outpatient clinics.”
Interested students should contact Dr. Eileen Coleman, PT, DPT, Surry's PTA Program Director, at (336) 386-3513 or email@example.com or go to www.surry.edu.
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