Above and Beyond

TTUHSC School of Nursing’s Patricia Warnock reflects on her volunteer work during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patricia Warnock

No one could have predicted the needs of West Texas when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It was those who were ready to help, no matter the demand, who made the biggest difference in the lives of many as the numbers of hospitalizations soared, fear spreading as quickly as the virus itself. From the moment the virus spread to West Texas, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s faculty, staff and students have shown their true passion for health care by dropping everything to help the next unpredictable need of the community.

Patricia Warnock, a coordinator in the customer support department at TTUHSC’s School of Nursing, is a spectacular example of the aid that only comes from those who put service first. When the Office of Institutional Health began their work with TTUHSC’s COVID vaccine distribution, Warnock immediately volunteered, not letting the fear of this largely-unknown virus keep her from helping out.

“During the COVID Pandemic we all were affected in some way,” said Warnock. “I was always looking to help in any way throughout my department, and when I was told that the Office of Institutional Health was looking for volunteers I said yes without hesitation.”

Working closely with director Nicole Hines and Brandi Hargrave, Warnock was able to assist with data entry and assistance, as well as directing TTUHSC team members as needed. She was only asked to volunteer for one month, but West Texas threw a curveball when bad weather interrupted the scheduled vaccines, leaving nurses and staff scrambling to keep up. Ultimately, she ended up volunteering an additional month to support the Office of Institutional Health.

A vital part of the School of Nursing staff since 2013, Warnock is in the business of caring for people.

“I have always wanted to work in some way with nursing,” said Warnock. “I love to help people in any way.”

After originally attending South Plains College to become a nurse, Warnock said that life took her down a different path, wherein she acquired a job at the business office in the School of Nursing as a business assistant and analyst. Now, with a job she is passionate about in the School of Nursing’s customer support, Warnock feels that this is exactly the right place for her to be able to help the community and feel fulfilled.

“I haven’t questioned my direction at any time,” said Warnock. “We all have a journey and when we are led in a different direction, I see it as a blessing and go with it.”

While reflecting on her volunteer efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Warnock emphasized that collaboration and working together is the most important element of getting a job done.

“I learned that teamwork is a must,” said Warnock. “Within that department and under the direction of Nicole Hines, I couldn’t have asked to work with a more upstanding group of nurses and staff. They were welcoming, informative, inspirational and giving individuals. During that time they made sure everyone that came in was taken care of—from the paperwork to the hands-on care before, during and after each shot that was given.”

When asked about her time volunteering, she pointed out the hard work of others rather than speaking about her own efforts. However, Warnock’s work ethic is clear—she leads by example, and strives to work courageously.

“Never hesitate to step out of your comfort zone,” Warnock advises. “When helping others, whether it’s small or big, it goes a long way. You don’t realize how many people you can bless with a simple ‘Yes, I would love to help!’”

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