Finding Your Place
Elliott Scott shares how he found his calling as a charge nurse in Shepherd Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program.
Elliott Scott has held many roles in his life including a U.S. Army Paratrooper, a police officer, and most recently, a charge nurse at Shepherd Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program. Throughout his career, he has held one mission: to help others.
Q: When did you start at Shepherd Center?
I started working at Shepherd Center in August 2010. I had a classmate from nursing school who was hired on at Pathways and she called me saying, “You’ve got to come down here! This place is so you!” So, I came down, interviewed, got the job, and the rest is history.
Q: Do you remember your first day?
I can’t say I remember the first day, but I do remember the first days. I knew my classmate was right when some of my first patients included a paratrooper who was injured on the job, a police officer who had been in a car wreck, and a motorcyclist who was also in a wreck. Serving as a paratrooper and a police officer were my first two careers and motorcycles are a passion of mine, so that's when I knew this place was for me.
Another thing was the culture. I would talk to people, and everyone was saying “I really like it here,” and I was thinking, “How much are they paying you to say that?” Fast forward three to four months and I found myself thinking, “Man, I really like it here.”
Q: What was one of your most memorable days at work?
Well, some of my best days include some of my most trying days. One of my most memorable days was when I first got assigned to the ICU. We did American Cardiovascular Life Support training, so I was feeling confident when my first code happened. I started dealing with it, feeling good about it, but still looking over my shoulder for the charge nurse to come in and take over. I continued to handle the situation and my training just took over until everything was okay again. When I walked out, my charge nurse was outside waiting with my teammates. They knew I could handle it, but if the charge nurse came in and took over, I would just hand it over without doing it myself. That made me feel amazing that they had that much trust in me and that I could handle a serious code on my own.
Seeing patients during the most trying time of their lives progress and emerge victorious is the most rewarding part of my job.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone pursuing a nursing career?
Nursing is like any other field in that there are trying times but it’s also rewarding. We see people at their worst, so you have to be sure it’s a calling.
Q: How do you feel now after working at Shepherd Center for more than 12 years?
I think Shepherd is an amazing place to work and I genuinely look forward to coming to work every day. It’s the environment here. You have to say hi fifty times in the hallway before you get to your destination because everyone will say hi first. Even with trials and tribulations, I don’t think there’s a better place to work.
Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. Ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals for rehabilitation and the best in the Southeast, Shepherd Center treats more than 850 inpatients and 7,600 outpatients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.