WASHINGTON, PA (April 22, 2022) – Bianca Pate ’22 and Piper Scarry ’22 responded to the Coronavirus pandemic by turning their passions into their professions. Both seniors began working at hospitals during the pandemic while also serving their communities as emergency medical technicians.
Pate, a neuroscience and Spanish major with a psychology minor, discovered her passion for healthcare in high school. As a high school senior, she volunteered at Latrobe Hospital before gaining her EMT certification in the summer of 2018.
When the pandemic caused a healthcare worker shortage in the spring of 2020, Pate felt a calling to return to Latrobe Hospital to help her former coworkers. She began working as a nursing assistant in the intensive care unit to help others at the onset of the pandemic.
Pate still works part-time at Latrobe Hospital and does large venue EMT work, including events at Kennywood Park and The Pavillion at Star Lake.
Pate now hopes to use her medical experience and her education to pursue a career in pediatric critical care medicine.
“W&J has given me the educational background to succeed [in medical school] … but I’ve also gained a much broader approach to healthcare,” she said. “I think W&J has such a strong focus on communication and interpersonal skills, and it’s something that has helped me communicate with patients and their families.”
Pate was the inspiration for her friend, Piper Scarry, to become an EMT.
“I’ve always been interested in medicine, so Bianca’s passion for it has always inspired me,” Scarry said.
Scarry, a psychology major, worked as a patient transporter at Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, PA, during the first year of the pandemic, working directly with COVID-19 patients to provide them with access to lifesaving care.
She then took her EMT certification course in the fall of 2021 through Washington County Ambulance and Chair Service, during which she did her clinicals at The Pavillion at Star Lake. She credits Pate for her help and inspiration throughout the certification process.
“She was always there when I had any questions,” Scarry said. “Bianca helped me study and taught me a lot of field information.”
After graduation, Scarry plans to take a gap year to work in Tampa, FL, as an EMT. She then plans to attend graduate school to become an emergency medicine physician assistant.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.