Central Wyoming College nursing student Brenda McIntyre knew she would apply her degree once she was in her career but a Wyoming snowstorm put her skills to the test when she came upon a roadside accident on her way to Casper in April.
"It was an adrenaline rush for sure. I thought, what was I going to do? I knew how she was feeling because I had been in her shoes before," McIntyre said.
McIntyre had been in a car accident in 2014 that left her with a shattered knee, a compound fracture in her leg and a broken arm and elbow. She spent six months in a wheelchair and in an arm cast. After a lengthy recovery period, a vocational rehabilitation counselor asked McIntyre if she wanted to go back to school.
"While I was in the hospital in Casper some of the nurses who took care of me there and at Elkhorn Rehabilitation inspired me and some of them even went to CWC, so I wanted to be like them," McIntyre said. With no previous college experience, McIntyre had to start from the beginning with a full year of prerequisites. Being away from academics for about 15 years meant a lot of hard work to get back into study mode.
"When I got my acceptance letter to the nursing school I bombarded Stacey Stanek in the cafeteria I was so excited," McIntyre said.
"I didn't know Brenda then, but it was apparent to me that she was excited and very motivated to learn," Stanek said, who is the assistant director of nursing. "I have since had the opportunity to observe Brenda in action and I have come to admire her tenacity and depth of character. She is meant to be a nurse."
McIntyre credits the staff and faculty at CWC for helping her through tough times.
"The people here have been so amazing," McIntyre said. "If you need help, you just need to ask. There is always someone to help you here. They just won't let you fail."
Being able to help an individual in a roadside accident was just one more sign that she should continue on her path to become a nurse.
"I just took her pulse and made sure she wasn't going into shock and that her injuries weren't severe," McIntyre said. "I hope she is still doing OK and that I helped her."
McIntyre has one more year to complete her nursing degree and is determined to finish.
"I want to be someone my kids can be proud of," McIntyre said.
McIntyre plans to stay in Fremont County and work in trauma. She currently works in dialysis in Fort Washakie at Wind River Dialysis.