Growth and Purpose

Although Amina-Mercy Ngock, a nursing student on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Odessa campus, always knew she wanted to help people, she wasn’t always sure how she would apply this desire to a career. In fact, after earning her undergraduate degree in law from the University of Buea in Cameroon, she volunteered as a teacher and obtained her master’s degree in social work, which she pursued as a mental health social worker for four years. However, nursing eventually became her passion, because she considers it a very personal means of helping others.

“As a mental health social worker, I had the privilege of working with very dedicated nurses,” Ngock said. “I then realized that becoming a nurse would make my career a helping profession.”

Additionally, Ngock personally saw the importance of nursing when her own father was diagnosed with stomach cancer while in the U.S.

“It was a difficult time for him and the whole family, but with the good medical and nursing care he received, he was able to at least return home to Cameroon where he finally passed away,” Ngock recalled. “This was an inspiration to get into the nursing profession.”

Ngock knows exactly what type of nursing in which she would like to work when she finishes nursing school.

“I plan to work in mental health once I graduate from nursing school,” Ngock said. “I believe mental health is one of the special areas in health care because a person’s mental state is bound to affect all areas of their lives and the lives of those around them. I also would consider becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner in the future.”

For Ngock, the nursing curriculum has proven challenging, but worthwhile. And, while her prior education and experience allowed her to work in health care and around nurses, she said she couldn’t fully appreciate the broad scope of responsibilities a nurse has until she started nursing school.

“The main challenge I have faced in nursing school so far is at the level of clinicals,” Ngock said. “Prior to nursing school, I had a general idea of what a nurse does, of course. However, I didn’t fully grasp the essence of the role a nurse plays in health care until I started doing clinicals.”

She hopes to turn this challenge into an opportunity to inspire others who are considering making the bold move to change careers and consider nursing.

“I hope I can be a good role model by reminding people that with hard work and determination, it is possible to successfully complete nursing school,” Ngock said. “Since the admission process to TTUHSC involves a good amount of screening, my admission, to me, meant that the faculty had some level of trust and belief in me. I view this as one more reason to do my best to succeed.”

And her admission came as a dream come true for Ngock, who felt that TTUHSC was a great place to study nursing.

“I chose TTUHSC School of Nursing because I felt it was a learning environment, which exposes students to learning, both in the classroom and on the field during clinicals,” Ngock said. “I believe that the hands-on approach to learning is key to making competent nurses.”

And Ngock says that she hasn’t been disappointed since started her coursework and clinical work and she has discovered even more reasons to appreciate TTUHSC.

“I haven’t been let down in my expectations,” Ngock said. “This thing I love most about TTUHSC is the focus on interprofessional patient care. From the very first semester, we were taught the importance of working with individuals from other professions.”

Ultimately, though, Ngock says her own desire to help people will make all the difference in her nursing career, and she’s glad TTUHSC recognizes the importance of this.

“My passion for helping people coupled with my constant desire to learn will enable me to provide optimum patient care,” Ngock said. “At TTUHSC, each profession brings something to the table and at the end of the day, we all work together for the good of the patient.”

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