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'To empower others' - Nursing scholarship - diabetes education

BJWeeds 1 / -  
May 16, 2012   #1
I am particularly concerned about the grammar of the last sentence in paragraph 2. Suggestions and corrections welcome.

Instructions: "Describe which experiences or persons have contributed to your decision to pursue a career in a health-related field" (500 words)

Just before junior prom, I unintentionally dropped 30 pounds in 30 days. When our family doctor told my mom I had diabetes, it was like I was not even in the room. I was numb. We walked out with prescriptions for insulin and syringes, and that was all we knew about where my life could lead after that day. The diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes was overwhelming-a rising tide, a confounding, multi-layered, unbelievable, aching flood of life-altering and life-determining details. I did my best to follow direction, to cope, to "watch" what I ate, and to adhere to the absolute regimen while continuing to be adolescent. I feared high blood sugar, certain that it would take my eyes, legs, or kidneys. I feared low blood sugar, informed that it could take my brain and my life in as little as 30 minutes if I did not watch what I was doing, all the time. I understand what it is to live with incurable illness.

Today, I am active and productive, unhindered by debilitating complications from diabetes because of skilled interventions and support from nurses who are certified diabetes educators. I am deeply motivated to give back in the same way that I received. Nursing allows me to combine my proven academic achievement with my fascination for the art of teaching; this combination, supported by a deep love for people and empathy grown from personal experience, makes nursing, and specifically diabetes education, areas where I can make a real difference.

I love seeing the proverbial "light bulb" come on in my students' eyes. It is my reward. For me, teaching is not an exercise in dissemination of knowledge, but rather the art of engaging understanding and lighting a fire along with knowledge. Since effective diabetes self-management is founded on the personal motivation and understanding that an individual has for living with their disease, I am eager to direct my teaching skills for this purpose.

My life took new direction after I met a diabetes educator. She was the first person who really identified with both the physical and emotional weight of my disease, treated me like a partner in my care, and addressed specific knowledge deficits related to diabetes self-management. She gave me tools that enabled me to be more "normal", to live without absolute rigidity, and with less fear. This was liberating, leading to immediate and sustained improvement in my health and overall wellness. Diabetes educators are the people who introduced me to and trained me in the latest technology, such as insulin pumps, and the intimacies of living daily with it. They are also the few people with whom I can discuss in fine detail the ins and outs of daily diabetes management, the challenges faced, and who really "get it". I want to empower others as I have been empowered, to help equip persons living with diabetes with the tools to be in control of their disease, and to live as full and normal lives as possible.

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