From Combat Medic to ER Nurse: Scott G.’s WCU Story

WCU All Alumni Spotlight Scott

Scott G. is a proud graduate of WCU-Texas, but his healthcare journey started far from the Lone Star State.

For eight years, Scott served as a combat medic in the military, working in a multinational trauma center in the city of Kandahar in Afghanistan. While the experience was not without its challenges, he credits it for helping him prepare for his current role working in the emergency room at Parkland Health. “The people I was able to serve and the skills I was able to master led me to gain the appreciation for emergency nursing that I maintain to this day,” he said. 

Since earning his BSN from WCU-Texas in 2023, Scott has found his home among the fast pace of the ER. In fact, by the time he graduated, he was already set on what kind of work environment he wanted. “I was going to work in an emergency setting, be it urgent care or even ICU,” he said about his approach to the job search. “I was offered several positions in ICU settings but ultimately chose Parkland Health because it would be the most difficult setting and it is known to be where the best nurses come from.”

Scott’s attitude towards his ER job is a testament to the drive, dedication, and fortitude that nurses in emergency settings must show every day on their job. “The amount of trust people have for nurses — and consequently myself — is unmatched,” he said, “I am humbled every day I go to work and have the privilege to treat patients that are experiencing crisis. When I am directly responsible for easing someone’s pain or someone’s struggle, I hold my head in such high regard.”

Read more from our interview with Scott!

WCU: How did WCU prepare you for your emergency room job?

Scott: I am constantly referring to my time at WCU. I think about it regularly: “Did I see this in simulation?” “Did I read about this?” There are so many instances where I find myself grateful for the difficult moments, which are what built the foundation I now directly rely on.

WCU: Were there any classes or professors that influenced where you are today?

Scott: Peter Hoang was one of my many simulation instructors, and to me, he was a nursing coach. I would not be where I am without Peter. I found myself growing as a student to impress him and I still often think of him in clinical settings and find myself wishing he could see me as if my time at Parkland was one of his simulations. I know he is proud of me but if he could directly see me in Parklands Emergency department he would smile.

WCU: What advice do you have for students who want to follow your path?

Scott: Your clinical rotations are where you are going to gain the most experience. You need this and you want to take clinicals as seriously as possible. Really assume you are already a nurse and consider your actions as if you were alone in the patient room… one day soon you will be.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.