Through the Emergency Room doors I heard, "Please help! Help my baby... she's not breathing." Instinctively I lifted the limp body into my arms initiating CPR. There was no sign of life from the helpless little girl. I continued calling out for help from the entrance while performing chest compressions. Despite the fact that the trauma staff quickly took over and every effort was used to revive the baby, it was too late; the child never regained consciousness.
While many might see this incident as distressing and defeating, this particular experience was pivotal in my life. It caused me to wonder if this child had been seen by a primary care provider and could this have been prevented? In that moment, it became clear to me what I was capable of and how I wanted to direct my ability to react quickly in critical situations and aid in preventing similar tragedies. In the following years, I would find myself in similar high-pressure, life or death situations several more times. Therefore, despite the tragedy of this experience, I realized there could be just as many extraordinary moments where I might be able to use my abilities to save a life. After obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Social Work, I entered the medical field with the goal of learning as much about various fields and interests within this arena so that I could make an educated assessment regarding the path that I would be best suited for and that I would find the most fulfilling. Through these experiences, I have learned how to further hone my instincts and develop my ability to react not only to similar situations, but also similar stress levels. I believe that my experience as a nursing assistant, emergency room technician, phlebotomist and educator, has given me the ability to relate to patient fears, confusion, and frustration. I have had the opportunity of observing primary care physician assistants and how their role in patient care gives patients the ability to engage in preventative behavior to avoid illness.
The treatment they provide is from start to finish affording a continuity of care that is unable to be provided by emergency rooms or urgent care facilities. This holistic approach, as well as, the unique and diverse people and situations that physician assistants face in primary patient care are what solidified my overwhelming interest in this field. My desire to become a primary care physician assistant stems from an aspiration to comfort each and every patient in each and every situation. Moreover, I wish to provide patient care from cradle to grave and to ensure everyone receives the care and attention deserved.
Over the years, I have been a healthcare educator, which has helped me improve my communication skills since I have worked with a wide range of students who all have very different needs, motivations, etc. My work as an educator has helped me to develop this skill to adapt my communication style depending on my audience and the situation at hand. My experience will allow me to have the ability to be understanding and flexible; I will be able to treat a patient effectively and in a comprehensive manner and not merely attend to the symptoms in a reactive way. It has also allowed me to recognize my ability to be organized and discerning. These skills will ultimately allow me to provide better care and communicate with patients in an empathetic and honest manner. Communication is imperative, especially in high stress situations, such as those that occur on an everyday basis in the medical field.
While being a teacher has been rewarding, I realize that I really want to be back in the field; I miss having patient contact and impacting them directly, hence my desire to become a Physician Assistant. My professional and personal goals have matured and become more defined. I have come to a point where I finally know that my life experiences, my maturity and my varied background in patient care, hospital administration and education have prepared me to provide exceptional care to those in need of the best medical care. Medicine, life saving techniques, and the ever-changing medical procedures applied in the medical field continue to pique my passion for patient care.