Hey Anybody Who is Bored,
If you get a chance, please read over my 1st draft of the narrative. I'm actually having problems, I feel, with my focus. Especially paragraph 2. Should I focus more on my experience volunteering, instead? I've read through some other narratives and noticed that many of them are very personal. I feel that this makes the narrative much more interesting to read. However, when I read CASPA's cute little blurb, it reads, "Please describe your motivation towards becoming a PA." I feel like I lose my focus towards the middle, but I kind of see the narrative as being a cover letter, as well, which highlights your experiences which has led you here. So what is it? An interesting story or a cover letter? Anyways, any input is appreciated. You can be honest. I just finished cranking this out over the past few hours, and I'd appreciate some input before I go back to dissecting it and reworking it. I am aware it's not good yet! :)
With tears of frustration streaming down my cheeks, I remember throwing my anatomy book across the room. This was the first month of my first post-baccalaureate science class I had taken, and as English major, anatomy was exceptionally challenging. To add salt to the wound, I was also working full-time. I have always been a self-motivated hard worker, taking various restaurant jobs to finance my living and educational expenses during college. However, it was during this time that I was able to push myself further, academically. I remember my grumpy lab instructor emphasizing that, yes, this was a difficult the class. And he wasn’t willing to make it any easier because we – the students and future health-care providers – had people’s lives in our hands. If we brush off this information to get an easy A, what have we learned? I remember looking around the class and seeing plenty of eye-rolls. However, this statement made a great impact on me. I think about this often when my classes get difficult, and I reflect on the importance of knowledge and how every challenge will make me a better Physician Assistant in the future. As far as anatomy goes, the class proved to be extremely difficult, and was reduced from close to fifty students to fewer than ten after the midterm. I was one of two students who received an A. Yet my favorite experience was the cadaver dissection, which I voluntarily participated in before class every week with the same cranky lab professor and one other student.
Over the next few years, I continued to fulfill the prerequisites for PA school while working full-time. With the motivation to become a successful PA, I took my academics seriously, and explored the health care field by volunteering as a Clinical Care Extender at Hoag Hospital. In all honestly, it has been both an exhausting and rewarding experience. At first, I was kicking myself for not pursing a Biology degree in college and attending PA school directly after my baccalaureate. However, I have learned that my life experiences have shaped the person I am today, and have further developed my skills towards becoming a good PA in the future. I have worked a variety of jobs, which have taught me much more than a text book ever could. I have had horrible and wonderful experiences with all kinds of people – from bosses to customers - and feel confident in my ability to interact with various individuals. I gained this confidence while working in a variety of industries – from food, to entertainment, to public service, to health care. I have pushed myself independently while working as a freelance writer, and discovered my self-motivation and leadership abilities. I have also learned the importance of collaboration and team work while working with a variety of coworkers. Most importantly, these careers that I have dabbled in, have given me the experience to discover that I truly want to become a PA. If I applied to PA school right after college graduation, I wouldn’t have been prepared. I didn’t know much about life and what it had to offer. After experiencing many career options, I feel confident in my decision to become a PA. While my desire to become a good PA is what pushes me to keep at my best, life experience laid the foundation in my decision to become a Physician Assistant.
While volunteering at Hoag, I helped a variety of staff members and appreciated the interactions PAs had with patients and staff. I have also shadowed an E.R. PA and discussed with him the professional role of the PA, and I was able to observe his interaction with staff first-hand. After researching the profession through shadowing and volunteering, I am confident that this career would be a good fit for me. I appreciate the diagnostic approach that PAs utilize, while still working under the direction of a physician. The diagnostic side greatly appeals to me as I have always had a fascination with the function of the human body, and have always enjoyed solving problems at work. I have discovered that I need to work in a field where I am intellectually stimulated. I also feel comfortable taking responsibility and leadership roles when needed, yet I understand how fluid a work environment functions when staff is working as a team. I have no problem working under the supervision of a physician, and appreciate the opportunity PAs have to collaborate with other staff members as a team.
Recently, I have quit my well-paying job in the library, given up my apartment by the beach, moved in with my parents, and have been watching my savings quickly diminish, so that I may complete the last of my prerequisites and get certified as an EMT. It’s been a drastic lifestyle change, but the motivation to become a competent PA student, and future PA, led me towards this decision. I am currently seeking employment as an EMT so that I may gain more health care experience. I am also actively seeking more shadowing opportunities to observe PAs in different fields. While I may not be fresh out of college, the experiences I have gained while working in many settings has led me here. With maturity, I have learned that it’s not how fast you get where you want to be, it’s that you get there.