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  1. I hope this is it! I am now below the character limit and I feel that I have included everything I wanted to portray, I just need some grammar nazis to find my mistakes!!! Thanks for any help :) **PS- if there's something you think needs more clarification or rewording, please tell me** As a teenager without health insurance, I spent many years ignoring symptoms or making do with remedies I already had at home. My go-to was some leftover menthol cough drops in my tea to help open my sinuses and soothe my throat. Thankfully, I was generally healthy and could manage by going to the health department once a year. I understand why someone would rather ignore his or her symptoms than see a doctor. I dreaded going to the health department because I never knew if I would see the same provider. Many see preventative care as a luxury, and overlook how it could save their heart, foot, or even life. Some feel like they do not connect with their provider or cannot understand them. Sometimes, it comes down to what is more important right now: eating today or diabetes tomorrow. These observations led me to pursue healthcare, where I hope to provide stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened. Spending ten years in healthcare has allowed me to interact with a variety of providers. With this exposure, I have realized that it is to a physician assistant (PA) that I relate. PAs help close the gap of disparities within healthcare by providing an affordable means for treatment. Also, through its supportive nature, the physician-PA team uses the skills of each provider to improve patient care and experiences. Additionally, the well-rounded training that PAs obtain allows them to adapt to the needs of their community and even carry their skills globally. All these reasons are important to me, having seen many of these issues firsthand. After high school, I became a pharmacy technician. This position solidified my interests in medicine and helped me appreciate the impact of patient education. I remember patients requesting refills for medications they could neither name nor state their use. Once, an elderly man came in with a baggie full of empty pill bottles, the labels almost illegible. Upon further inspection, we noticed that he had redundant medications and a variety of providers. We sat down with him, consolidated his medications, and then explained to him the importance of seeing a single provider. This was a common occurrence in the pharmacy, and I always made a point to educate these individuals. I wanted more contact with patients and later began working in registration at an emergency room. I saw those without insurance sit hours to be seen for fevers and headaches. Coming from this environment as a teenager, I understood that this was the primary care experience for many. Also recognizing this, one PA in the ER paid extra attention to these patients. I watched him go over each medication not only to rule out drug interactions, but also to explain their uses. When his patients returned, instead of asking for "the little blue pill," they confidently asked for their blood pressure medication. I admire his respect for patients, and it inspired me to also advocate for them. Once, I noticed a patient was anxious over the cost of a medication they had just been prescribed and coordinated with his provider to supply him with samples and coupons. Later, I became a patient care technician on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. This position gave me the chance to more closely see the connection between patients and their caregivers. One morning as I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. Alarmed, I checked her blood sugar; it was 37 mg/dL. With the nurse at my side, we helped the patient to bed and gave IV glucose. I am happy to have quickly recognized these symptoms and reacted. Moments like this showed me that I want to not only treat patients, but also diagnose. Becoming a PA will be difficult, but I am confident in my time- and stress-management skills. I have held many jobs while attending university full-time. I recall getting off work, eating in the car on the way to class, and coming home to study all night. This continued throughout my college career and although it was tough balancing several obligations simultaneously, I was always proud to have successfully completed each semester. I have always known that the best tool for succeeding under stress is a strong support network. This was tested during my sophomore year when I lost my cousin to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Never dealing with death before, I was unable to cope with losing my best friend; eventually, I failed two semesters. Reflecting upon this hardship, I drew from the support of my family and friends to push forward. I succeeded in retaking these semesters and continued to excel in my studies thereafter. My experiences at the pharmacy, reception desk, and on the unit have helped me value what people contribute to a team. Our backgrounds and various skills allow us to provide better care through integration and empathy. Since my days at the health clinic, I have seen the needs of the underprivileged, and becoming a PA is my next step as a patient educator, supporter, and advocate. Thanks everyone!
  2. I teach part-time as a clinical medical assistant instructor for a vocational program (approximately 25 students from a variety of age groups/ethnicities/educational backgrounds). Since it's not direct patient experience, I still feel it's important to list somewwhere on my application as I teach both didactic as well as clinical skills. Thoughts?
  3. I have always wanted to work inthe medical field one way or another. It took me a while to figure out exactlywhat I wanted to do in the medical field. I became a pharmacy technician aboutfour years ago. Mainly because I needed a job that paid more than minimum wagesince I am a single mom going to through college. The other reason was to findout if that was something I would like to do as a career. After working in apharmacy for a few years I realized counting pills is not what I want to do forthe rest of my life. I knew I wanted to help people but the pharmacy is not theway I want to help. I want to have way more patient interaction than Icurrently do. I did not learn about what a physicianassistant was until I had my own experience with a physician assistant. A lightbulb went off after that encounter. So I decided to do some research about thecareer field. After learning what a physician assistant role was I decided thatit was the career I would like to have eventually. In my experience receiving carefrom physician assistants, I realized that physician assistants have themedical training to be confident in their field and provide excellent care totheir patients. I learned that physician assistants can greatly enhance thequality of care provided in a doctor’s office and hospital setting by splittingup the care between them and the doctors. My experiences with physicianassistants have led me to have a great appreciation for this career and I ammotivated to become a physician assistant. As an adult, and mother; myfamily and I on more than one occasion was cared for by a physician assistant. Ihave witnessed that a physician assistants have the ability and willingness totake the time to explain conditions, understand concerns, and answer questionswhich I find as an incredible relief. I believe that because of theoverwhelming patient load on doctors, sometimes they are unable to give thesame important attention that the physician assistant can provide. My positiveexperience with these physician assistants awoke a desire in me to provide thesame service to others.
  4. Why am I knocking on the doorway to the start of a PA career? Well, because I would love to come in, trade my jacket for a lab coat, and stay for around 40 years. To me, it's the best house on the healthcare block. And here's why. Learning from my own experiences in healthcare, community service, and college, I believe I've found a fast track to personal and professional fruition within the PA field. As a PA, I can concentrate on one-on-one patient relationships while working closely with other members of the healthcare team. I can continually improve my clinical skills and knowledge. I can be healing, constructive, scientific, inspirational, and impactful in the lives of others. The PA profession is the right fit for many reasons, but here are some of the main ones. First, PAs have an excellent tradition of forming effective relationships with patients. My personal experiences like serving on religious leadership teams, wheeling students with disabilities around Young Life outdoor camps, and investing time into mentoring high schoolers have taught me the worth of developing relationships that serve others. And professionally, working as a Therapy Aide in the acute inpatient setting, some of the moments I value most are when the PT and I are able to go beyond our job description and engage the patient as a whole person. What can we do to improve their situation right now? Sometimes it's communicating a need to the nursing staff, or allowing extra time for more in-depth patient education. Sometimes it's just delivering a cup of ice water. But when we're able to reach out and connect with a patient in this way, we become more than just hospital workers, we're allies, and we're both built up because of it. Every experience I've had with PAs reinforces that this profession is highly focused on person to person relationships. The connections PAs are able to make with patients can go very far in the treatment of the whole individual and their family. Secondly, PAs are committed to the medical model and continuing education: two cornerstones of healthcare. The medical model has facilitated healing for hundreds of years by emphasizing a scientific, biologic approach to health. And continuing education ensures PAs stay on the cutting edge of practicing medicine. The rigorous science curriculum at the University of Florida was not only fascinating, it helped prepare me for the intensity of PA school and ongoing education. Although the ride was bumpy at first, I soon developed study techniques that helped me to finish strongly. A long time ago, I dedicated myself to continued learning and professional growth in the health field. And as a prospective PA student, I'm excited to see the high value PAs place on continuing education, and I believe the PA medical model is ripe to benefit from the current growth spurt in healthcare R&D. I'm pursuing a career as a PA over a career in nursing, rehabilitation, or as a doctor because my ambition is to become a primary care practicioner. Although I think the nursing and therapy models are effective complements to the medical model, my goals are to be the first contact for patients, to develop strong relationships through long-term continuing care, and to emphasize preventative medicine and patient education. Also, the extended period of time required to complete medical school and the additional burdens physicians typically accept would conflict with other personal goals of family life and dedicated community service. I'm aware that I plan to enter a primary care field that is struggling. PCP's are strained by shrinking numbers of practicioners and swelling patient populations. Reimbursement is relatively low, and the evolving clinical skills needed to treat a large scope of health concerns are difficult to maintain. Nevertheless, I believe PAs are a part of the answer to the primary care problem in the US, and, alongside physicians, will continue to form the backbone of healthcare delivery. As an aspiring primary care PA, I anticipate becoming involved in the coordination of free and reduced-cost healthcare at one of the volunteer clinics, like the Wildflower Clinic, in the Jacksonville area. In closing, the strength and attractiveness of the PA profession have become apparent to me through the way Physician Assistants combine teamwork, a focus on the medical model, and the ability to engage patients in one on one relationships. This blend, unique in the medical field, provides for a rewarding career and many satisfied patients.
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