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'nursing and medical encyclopedias' - personal statement for USF Nursing Program

jaimeealexis 3 / 7  
Oct 31, 2009   #1
please let me know if there are things i should change, reword or even take out..i appreciate all the help i can get

As a child I was always interested in my mother's nursing and medical encyclopedias. At the age of eight I was sent home by my teacher because I had raised bumps on my arms. Immediately my mother took me to the doctor's office who had confirmed that I had a harmless skin condition called Hives. Instead of being frightened by the diagnosis, I went straight to my mother's medical encyclopedia to learn more about it. At the age of thirteen, I was diagnosed as Anemic and had to take iron supplements. Before I was told I was anemic, I had the weird tendency to want to only eat ice. I was too embarrassed to tell my mom and decided to do some research for myself. I learned that I wasn't just being weird but my cravings were actually due to my low levels of iron intake. From then on my interest has only grown more and more. Along with my curiosity for the human anatomy and physiology, my love to serve and help others was what directed me to choose nursing as a career. My relationship with God has set my priorities in life and that is to serve Him first, others and then myself. My goal is to become a registered nurse. That is so I may serve others through the love of God by serving my patients with the skills needed to care for them. I have been blessed to receive the education I need to best guide me and direct me to be on the right path to accomplishing my goal. What led me to a bigger blessing was the birth of my special needs son, Nathan. Our journey together as a family was what reaffirmed my eagerness to give back to the medical community by becoming a registered nurse.

I have always had the eagerness and excitement to learn. At the age of eighteen I became pregnant with my first son. I went straight to bookstores and libraries so that I could learn more about my developing miracle. I wanted to make sure I was taking care of my body the right way so that he may grow and become a healthy baby. Even with my strictness throughout my pregnancy, God had a different plan for me. Nathan was born and we assumed he was a completely healthy baby. At just two and a half months old he had his first seizure. He was taken to the hospital and it was confirmed that he was born with a rare malformation of the blood vessels in his brain. This rare malformation is called Arteriovenous Dural Fistula Malformation, also called AVM for short. With his condition along came a grim diagnosis, seizures and medications. As a new mother I thought all I needed to learn was how to change a diaper, breast feed and other normal baby things. I faced a new challenge and for the sake of my baby's health and well being, I wanted to learn more about what I was facing. I felt it was best to try to understand as much as I could concerning the anatomy of his brain and the medical terminology relevant to his condition. I also made sure to prepare questions so that I could get the most out of my meetings with his doctors. Throughout the year we were hospitalized five times. Each of those times, I took advantage of my environment and tried to learn as much as I could. I was active in the care of my son by changing the linings, giving him baths, inserting and removing his NG tube as well as giving him his oral medications.There were times where I just felt mentally and emotionally drained. It was Nathan's strength that encouraged me to press on. Despite his medical obstacles, Nathan was able to reach some milestones. He was a happy baby who loved to laugh, rarely cried and loved to roll. Just by meeting him and seeing his pictures, it was hard to tell that he had a medical condition.

Throughout our hospital stays, I was able to meet a handful of wonderful families. In the UCSF Children's hospital, there was a big waiting room where we would stay whenever Nathan was undergoing surgery. Sometimes we would even wait there for as long as thirteen hours. Families of many patients would come in waiting to see their loved one and each family had a different story to tell. It was therapeutic to be able to socialize with others who understood the emotional and mental stress of having a loved one admitted. At night I would sleep beside Nathan's crib throughout each hospital stay. There was a time when we were hospitalized for almost a month and a half. It was hard to sleep because we did not always have our own room. Fortunately I was able to encounter a handful of nurses who did their best at making sure I was comfortable. I believe that all of those encounters were a blessing in disguise. I now have a new perspective aside from being the patient. I have the perspective of a parent and family member who at times can feel physically and emotionally drained. I believe my empathy will better help my service to my patient and their family whether they are just visiting or plan to stay overnight.

There were many different situations throughout this journey that needed me to perform at my best even while under stressful conditions. One week after Nathan was born I decided to go back to school even if it meant only going part time. At that time I had no idea of what we were going to face in the months ahead. Throughout the school year I have had to prepare for one midterm and two finals. My husband and I would drive an hour to go to school in San Jose while my mother-in-law would watch our son. Immediately after class we would drive back to San Francisco and spend the rest of the day in the hospital. There were times when it was difficult to focus just because of the environment alone. There were days when it was more of a challenge because Nathan would be undergoing surgery. Despite the distractions, I managed to finish the school year at a cumulative 3.7 GPA. Even with Nathan's condition and prognosis, he was always one to suprise the doctors. They did not expect him to be able to physically do all that he achieved. Yet I have learned that it is not realistic to expect good news all the time. We have had our ups and downs from "your son needs to undergo a craniotomy" to "your son has suffered several strokes and will never be the same again". As a mother it was natural for me to cry at times, feel hopeless and angry. For Nathan I felt it was best to stay focused so that I could best understand all the doctors were telling me. From there as a team, we were able move forward with the best decision for Nathan.

In January of 2009, just two weeks shy of his first birthday Nathan had suffered a new bleed which took his life. Even though Nathan had lived eleven short months here on Earth, he has taught me so much more than what I could have ever taught him. From this experience, I have been blessed with invaluable lessons that will help me perform at my best in my nursing career as well as my everyday life. I have a greater appreciation and respect for health professionals who do their best in helping and caring for others. I am eager to dedicate time and hard work so that I can give back through my service to the medical community as a registered nurse. With that said I want to receive my education from the nursing program in the University of San Francisco. I strongly feel that your program will best prepare and teach me the necessary skills needed to become a valuable contributer to the health profession. I have visited the campus and have met wonderful staff whom have done a great job in assisting me by answering all of my questions. I feel that the University of San Francisco will be a great environment to learn in and I hope to start the next chapter in my life in the University of San Francisco.
shadejade 4 / 19  
Oct 31, 2009   #2

In the first paragraphy I think you should just state that you want to be a registered nurse once, like after your son was born.

In paragraph two you should reword the first sentence or maybe delete it since you stated it before.

In January of 2009, just two weeks shy of his first birthday Nathan had suffered a new bleed which took his life. Even though Nathan had lived eleven short months here on Earth, he has taught me so much more than what I could have ever taught him.

Also maybe you could combine the 3rd and 4th paragraphs, but overall it is very good.

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