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News / Alumni June 20, 2023

Alum inspired to provide the best patient care

June 20, 2023

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Gabriela G. wanted to become the kind of nurse her grandmother didn’t have. After watching her grandmother be ignored by her nursing staff, Gabriela realized the importance of quality bedside manner.

“There was a time I left and came back and my grandmother was soaking wet with puddles of urine on the floor,” Gabriela said. “When you bring it up to the nurses, they just give you attitude.”

From then on, Gabriela had the goal to support people facing their worst days. “Sometimes, we get so bombarded by our work that we forget these people are human.”

Growing up in a family of nurses, Gabriela says she always enjoyed helping others. At 17 years old, while volunteering in the intensive care unit, Gabriela met a patient who left an impression.

“There was one elderly patient who was all by herself, and no one would come to visit her,” Gabriela remembered. “I walked in, and she literally put her hand out and was just staring at me… seeing one person made a whole difference for her.”

Starting as a candy striper, Gabriela later worked as a medical assistant at a phlebotomist's office while taking prerequisite courses at the local community college. In 2017, Gabriela earned her VN degree from American Career College-Ontario, and in 2024, she is expected to graduate from West Coast University-Ontario with her bachelor of science in nursing degree.

“I’ve always been in the medical field since my very first job but it wasn’t the career that I wanted,” she said. “I fell in love with nursing and being able to care for others.”

Gabriela’s dream of becoming an RN has never changed. After getting accepted into the BSN program, Gabriela received the ACC Alumni Bridge Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to ACC alumni continuing their education at WCU.*

“I am very grateful that West Coast University does offer help in scholarships to students who have gone to their schools and are continuing to go,” Gabriela said. “I don’t know where I’d be or how I would be able to do it without that.”

Today, Gabriela works for a veteran’s affairs outpatient clinic. Before that, she provided home healthcare to adolescents. Gabriela continues to offer high-quality care that ensures her patients, and their families feel supported.

“I want to be the best nurse that I can,” Gabriela said. “So much of the bedside manner has gone away and that’s by my own experience of being with my family… At the end of the day, the patient comes first.”

*For additional information and eligibility requirements, please visit https://westcoastuniversity.edu/about/alumni/scholarships/acc-alumni-bridge-scholarship

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