My personal narrative is the last thing I have to submit in order for my P.A. application to be complete. The instructions are: Please describe your motivation towards becoming a PA . Here is my narrative. Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated.
I have been exposed to many different career paths throughout my life. My first job was in eighth grade where I worked part-time at my best friend's family restaurant. I acquired the job in order to help contribute to my family's income and save for a car. My early exposure to the workforce, along with being raised in a low-income family, made me realize how important it was to obtain a distinguished career. This realization also came along with the uncertainty of a career path.
My early exposure and accolades in piano training caused me to assume I would pursue a career in piano pedagogy or performance. My views on this changed when I was blessed to have an exceptional high school science teacher named Mr. Donnie Pruitt. His class material and labs intrigued me, something I never experienced with other classes. Everything I learned captivated my mind and left me wanting to know more. While most students at my high school took electives such as weight lifting or team sports, I chose to take upper level science classes with Mr. Pruitt. I spoke with Mr. Pruitt often concerning career options in the field of Biology, and he encouraged me to enter the medical field. He advised that with my vigor for learning and my personable demeanor, I would excel in the field. I took his advice and entered college pursuing a double major in Biology and Piano Pedagogy.
As my years of college passed, my passion for all sciences flourished while my music studies were put aside as a hobby. Along with this passion for sciences, grew an interest in the healthcare field. I felt I needed exposure in some way to the field and obtained a job at Floyd Medical Center working night shift as a certified nursing assistant. I valued and learned from every minute of it. I enjoyed that no work day was ever the same and there was always something new to learn or see. My coworkers became my second family and relentlessly encouraged me in my education. I took my weekends at work as a break from studies and submerged myself in the lives of my patients. I will always treasure the countless hours of reminiscing with patients about their life stories and the bonds I formed with fellow healthcare workers. My job as a CNA at Floyd Medical Center was the beginning of my pursuit toward a healthcare career.
The idea of becoming a physician assistant was always in my mind throughout college, but came to complete realization while doing free medical clinics in Jamaica. The first day of clinics brought hundreds of patients. A humble, middle-aged man visited the clinic to be assessed for foot ulcers and left changing my life. After the man waited an hour to be seen, I took him to an area to obtain his vital signs. While conversing with him regarding vials signs and wait time, he smiled and had no complaints. I started taking his blood pressure when I noticed a puzzled look came across the man's face. It stunned me for a moment. He looked unsure of all I was doing. I realized that I simply told him I was going to obtain vital signs and assumed he knew the routine. It humbled and saddened me to know that the standard healthcare practices we do on children at birth had never been performed on this fifty year old man. This experience consumed me with a desire to pursue a career in a leadership position of the healthcare team, such as a physician assistant, to enable me to continue these free clinics in vastly under-served communities.
One of the final factors that influenced my decision of becoming a PA was through personal experiences taking care of my mother. My last semester of college primarily consisted of studying, work, and taking my mother to doctor's appointments. The doctor's appointment that stood out to me was with her Gastroenterologist, Dr. Goldin. Every visit we had, we met his PA. The only time my mother met Dr. Goldin was after having an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, while waking up from anesthesia. My mother had no recollection of their conversation or what Dr. Goldin looked like. Whenever I discussed setting up an appointment with Dr. Goldin, my mother hoped to meet with his PA because that is who she has formed a closer relationship with.
The final step to confirm my career goal was by shadowing a physician assistant named Henry Wood from Floyd Medical Center. He allowed me to follow him through his daily schedule and let me ask whatever questions I had. He informed me of the rewards of the profession along with the cons, all of which I had predicted by my experience working in healthcare. I know I will face long hours and late night calls, but the reward of making a difference in the lives of my patients will be worth it. I was thrilled to see the close relationships he had with his patients and their families. He knew each one by name and had stories to share with all. I knew by the end of shadowing Mr. Woods that becoming a P.A. was the distinguishable career I was searching for.