I the surgeon performs an emergency exploratory laparotomy.

I change
into my green scrubs and sprint to the opposite end of the hospital. A trauma
case is coming up from the E.R. during my first on-call weekend as an autotransfusion
technician. My heart begins to race as adrenaline surges through my veins. Since
the patient is bleeding internally, the surgeon performs an emergency
exploratory laparotomy. As the doctors and PAs search for the rupture, I work
tirelessly to process and return almost three liters of blood. When they find
the rupture and the bleeding subsides, I am exhausted but content. I indirectly
helped save a life on the very edge of death. The feeling of achievement is
greater than any victory I have ever felt.

 Working for the past three years as an autotransfusion
technician has been a fantastic experience. It showed me the critical need to
be able to operate in a highly dynamic and stressful environment where
prioritizing tasks, effective communication, and teamwork are an absolute job
necessity. Interacting with individuals of all ages and walks of life has
allowed my studies to come alive. Diseases are no longer a list of criteria in
a textbook; they take on faces and names with struggles and symptoms. Working
with these patients, I feel restrained by my knowledge and skill level. I want
to be involved with the treatment plans of the patients I see, rather than
merely follow orders. I want to sit and talk with my patients in order to
obtain an accurate history and build a connection with them during their
hospital stays. I want to have a broad foundation of knowledge and be able to
have evidence-based approaches to caring for my patients. I know that becoming
a PA is the answer. As a PA, I would not only have the conduit to make a
substantial difference in people’s lives, but it would provide me with an
ultimate sense of fulfillment and purpose.

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Shadowing
an orthopedic PA for four months reinforced that there is no other profession I
desire more. I learned that at the center of effective care delivery is a
connection between the provider and patient. PA Randall built that connection
by entering every exam with a smile and gently leading each patient through the
tests necessary to diagnose their injury, gladly answering any questions and alleviating
any concerns. When a patient that was wheelchair-bound from pain became
hesitant to have a hip revision, PA Randall put him at ease by taking the time
to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the surgery. During the surgery, an
infection was found that could have been worse if he waited. Consequently, this
taught me that using skills such as empathy not
only reduces patient anxiety, but also improves clinical outcomes.
The months I spent following PA Randall on his rounds solidified my choice to
pursue a career as a physician assistant. His positivity and dedication are
qualities I hope to emulate in my future medical career.

My
clinical and shadowing experiences have been great preparation for becoming a
PA. My education has been as well, although my early grades may not reflect this.
Immaturity and uncertainty in my future pursuits resulted in a downward slope
of my grades and ultimately my retraction from college. However, it was during
this educational gap that I was able to rebuild my sense of identity and claim
my purpose. Working in my father’s business in downtown Brooklyn, I experienced
firsthand the reality of poverty. I met people who desperately needed food,
shelter, and good healthcare. At the time, my only way to assist them was to
provide food. When the bitter cold NYC winters were too harsh to bear, I would
welcome them into the store and hand them a hot cup of coffee. These
experiences have opened my eyes to a type of suffering too gripping to dismiss.
I must be more and know more so that I may do more. Afterwards, I returned to
college and started volunteering in the medical clinic at Flushing hospital. While
volunteering, I found that I wanted to become a medical professional who can
practice medicine using a team-based model with a strong focus on personalized
patient care. I was captivated by the MDPA partnership and the PA’s
simultaneous ability to work independently. The supportive teamwork dynamic and
the capacity to move laterally across specialties solidified my desire to
belong to the PA profession. In my last year of college, I also worked as a
biology tutor serving as a mentor for underserved students and providing them
access to educational resources. I want to continue helping the underserved
population by becoming a PA who offers optimal care with compassion and
understanding.

 My journey to pursuing my physician assistant
degree involved events and experiences that have given me a tremendous
appreciation for the role that PAs play in the healthcare continuum. I look
forward to taking the next step in this journey to serve others and help make a
difference in people’s lives. Bottom
of Form

 

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