EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The 76 students that make up the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing Class of 2021 received their first white coats on Friday at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
TTUHSC El Paso is the only El Paso university to hold white coat ceremonies for its nursing students. The socially distanced ceremony allowed for one student at a time to enter the nursing building.
Incoming Hunt School of Nursing student Victoria Dorch knew from a young age that she wanted to be in the healthcare field after her father and grandfather experienced serious illnesses.
“I feel very privileged to receive my white coat,” said Dorch. “To me, it feels like being welcomed into a passionate and honorable community, a united community with the common goal of caring for our city.”
The White Coat Ceremony is a traditional rite of passage that welcomes students to health care practice. The most important element of the ceremony is the oath students take to acknowledge their central obligation of caring for the patient.
The ceremony was sponsored by Sunflower Bank and Guardian Mortgage, which supported the cost of half the white coats and stethoscopes for the incoming nursing students, while Ethos Financial sponsored a gift of five white coats and stethoscopes.
“The White Coat Ceremony is a recognition that the nursing student is taking on new professional accountabilities,” said Stephanie Woods, dean of the Hunt School of Nursing. “The white coat represents to the community that the student is now becoming a health care professional. It’s critical that the student take on new responsibilities for the health of the community they serve.”
Dr. Woods added that the ceremony helps students understand the responsibility that comes with competent nursing care.