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  1. Love to hear some opinions on my personal essay. Im sure there are some grammatical errors as this is first draft. More interested in flow, content, readability, does opening hook you to read more? All advice and input is welcome. Thanks It’s 3 am I wake up to bright lights and a strangers loud voice. “Medical Emergency Engine 2” being a rookie it took me a bit to shake off the sluggish feeling before I realized the address was the a low income housing area common place for medical emergencies in our district. In my first 2 months we had 11 medical calls to this location alone, including 3 codes, 2 overdoses, and a plethora of events I never imagined witnessing. We all hop to our feet and fire up the Engine with the dispatch notes showing stomach pains and shortness of breath. We arrive to find a 41 year old female in the tripod position, extremely diaphoretic, chief complaint of tearing abdominal pain. The ambulance arrived soon after our SAMPLE history and vitals had been taken. Blood pressure 196 over 100, Pulse 122, pains radiating into lower back, history of smoking and COPD. We had just covered the Abdominal Emergency chapter in EMT class, it felt as though the text book jumped up and smacked me on the head falling open to the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm page. This was the exact signs and symptoms I had studied only days before. As soon as we got her situated on the cot I was placing the final strap under her arms when suddenly she let out an excruciating moan, her eyes went white and body limp. The paramedic asked me to check the carotid for a pulse, she had none. Time raced by as we all leapt into action dropping the gurney to the ground immediately beginning chest compressions and rotating controlling breathing. This cycle continued all the way to the hospital. I never found out the fate of our patient but I couldn’t help but wonder if she had proper preventative care. While working in EMS has numerous rewards I find myself continually yearning for more ways to affect positive change in the health and well being for the community as a proactive not reactive force in the medical field. I was first drawn to the medical field when my father endured a tough year. Early 2003 he had a triple bypass and aortic valve titanium replacement. As serious a situation this was I couldn't help but give him a hard time about sounding like the bionic man, heart clicking about. Right as he was beginning to become his old self a mass was found on a CT scan in his duodenum leading the local specialist to diagnose it as a rare disorder called Amyloidosis of which the outlook was grim. He was referred to the Mayo Clinic for a battery of test. I remember being so scared for my father and praying for healing. The doctor said that the three months between scans interestingly enough showed a miraculous remission. The doctor had seen thousands of Primary type Amyloidosis being the leading specialist at the time, but had never seen one go into a state of remission as my fathers had. This impacted me deeply at that young age, creating a passion to serve in the medical field. When I first viewed the recommended hours of paid experience I thought it was another road block to overcome on my way to the PA program. If only I could slap some sense into my younger College freshman self. My attention turned to the Springfield Fire Department, knowing EMT was a part of their intensive training. It showed how much passion and love we can give our community, small things like gathering the patients belongings, helping rescuing a cat, yes I actually saved the stereotypical cat from a tree. Just getting into academy took 9 months of preparation, including written and physical testing, multiple rounds of interviews, in depth CIA level background checks. All leading up the most challenging accomplishment to date, Springfield Fire Academy. Mixing a pseudo military regiment of physical fitness, all day didactic classroom learning with practical skills thrown in intermittently. It was described to me as putting 5 years of on the job firemen training into a 8 month academy. This being interlaced with EMT class at nights from 6-10 and thriving online business taking up the rest of my free time that was not dedicated to studying. This prepared me to become a top student in overwhelmingly foreign material and study load I could not of imagined. Instilled was 5 core values of the Department, professionalism, integrity, compassion, service, and valor of which I will never forget for they provide a framework into every aspect of my life. I never imagined being in some of the situations EMS care provided, the thrill of diagnosing the next patient and meeting new people. I am passionate about the PA profession and plan to use this passion as my driving force to work hard before, during and after the PA program. My journey has built character, determination, team attitude, ethical fortitude, and above all else a desire to effect positive change in the under served community where I grew up. All I ask is for an opportunity to interview to show more of why I will be a top candidate not only for your PA program but also a fellow PA.
  2. I am Incognito but not first-time poster......logging in under another name. I need advice. My contract comes up for renewal in 2 months and I will be having a meeting with the (fairly new) clinic administrator (CA) soon. Since this administrator was hired a lot has changed and the culture of the clinic has become quite dysfunctional (more-so than before). The Issues: We only communicate by email now and that is what the CA expects. No more discussion between the clinic staff and no more meetings with staff to discuss clinic issues. Initially we had an email from the CA of when monthly meetings would be held, what time (lunch hour) and that we were expected to be there. The first month the CA never showed up to several meetings and the scheduled meetings lasted for two months and now none for the last 9. Apparently the schedule she developed has gone by the wayside although she has never emailed us or informed us of the change in schedule. New phone system installed in early August and we found out we could not call our local EMS. The CA knew this but did not inform the staff who matters (the nurses, PA and MD). I had an emergent patient last Thursday and because we DID NOT KNOW about the 911 issue there was a delay in care for the patient. The CA was contacted about the problem and she says "I know that you can't call 911 and I guess we will have to get the lawyers involved." We call 911 now on our cell phones. The other system calls a central system in Colorado and we are 1,000s of miles away. The MD does not notify me when he is going to be gone and neither does the CA. He is gone alot...about 50% of the time developing his side business and is allowed to travel to CA, IL and to a local medical entity in his effort to sell his and his partners genetic testing kit. I do not know if he continues to get salary on the days he is gone. He never works Fri per his contract but is supposed to work M-Th. The last time he was gone I confronted him about why I was not notified and asked him to let me know verbally when he will not be at the clinic. He, however when I am gone, will have a retired NP come in to work because he "can't work alone..he has too much work to do." I on the other hand handled the clinic by myself and some of those days were killers.... One day with 25 pts. in a 7 hour day....frankly quite unsafe. I requested my contracted CME off to attend a national conference starting next week. I requested it 2 months ago and also requested to go to a state PA chapter CME in October. I also reminded him in Aug. I needed to know. It was not approved as of last Thursday but the NP was working for him that day and she said she was asked to work during the time I will be at the conferences in Sept and Oct. I was shocked and told her I did not have approval to go, had not registered, no plane tickets, etc.. She mentioned this to the MDs nurse at the end of the day. The following day the nurse came and told me that the MD verbally approved me going to the conference. I told her I did not have written approval and still can't make any plans per our accounting dep't and protocol. Today the MD was back in office and both of us were busy. He made no effort to talk to me. I made an effort to talk to him...there's a long story behind this. Still no written approval. Over the last 6 months or so there have been staff changes. The CA has recruited people to come work at the clinic and some did not have interviews. She hired them out from the previous clinic she worked at. One hiree is an RN who came for an interview and was hired immediately on the spot and the following day an announcement went out for us to welcome her to the clinic. The Rad Tech had no interview. The clinic had a grant funded position for an LPN who worked with the pregnant women and families and managed all of our immunizations and the state Vaccines for Children program. She was the backup clinic nurse and worked when the other nurses were on vacation or sick. She is also an EMT and breastfeeding educator and Doula. She is highly qualified and an excellent nurse. She was told in my presence and in the presence of the other clinical staff that she would be my nurse when the NP retired (I had no dedicated nurse until June 1) and the NPs nurse was going to triage and case management. Her grant ended May 31st. Lo and behold! When June 1st arrived the CA came to the MD and told him the LPN was out of a job and would have to re-apply for the position when it was posted. This apparently was on order of the Board who wanted the position opened up rather than a lateral transfer since they had some family members they thought might like the job. The MD comes to me to tell my my LPN was out of a job at that moment (she had already left for the day). I blew a cork and sternly (I did not yell) told him that was unacceptable to tell her one thing and then turn around and let her go. I stood up for her and he ran back to the CA and they decided she could stay until the announcement came out and then could apply. She stayed and the CA promised her she would notify her when the job would be posted. She did not notify her and the LPN found it out by default at an EMS meeting 2 days after it was posted. She applied anyway and interviews were 8/28. She was told the following day at the end of the day she did not get the position. A lesser qualified LPN was hired because of Board preference . I was livid. DId I tell you I have not been asked to interview any of the nurses or MDs that have been in for interviews? I confronted the MD about that too and feel I should be included in the interviews because these are staff that I work with. Shouldn't I have the opportunity to interview a nurse or physician who might get hired? In the last 6 months the atmosphere at the clinic has become one of staff being afraid they will lose their jobs. We have all learned to tiptoe. I had 2 other discussions with the MD....one he called me into his office and said I was adversarial. I think he does not like it when I challenge him. He is medical director. Shouldn't he be the one to make decisions? Yet he can't even sign off on our clinic policy manual to approve policies and we HAVE NO MANUAL because he won't sign the policies. No policies for the 18 years he has been there. I have been at the clinic nearly 3 years. I have been told that I am the only one who has challenged him. His nurse told me I was hard to work with the last couple of months. She does not like it when I refuse to write scripts for patients of the MD for patients I have NEVER met and there are NO CHARTS on file for them. They are his golf buddies and the people who call him at home for refills. He asked me why I refuse to write scripts for his patients and why I would only give a 3 days supply of lipitor for one of his patients (huh, I really don't know what he is talking about) and I told him I won't for those with controlled substances or for certain meds for certain patients BUT I have renewed scripts for the basic meds like HTN, Lipid meds, etc. In May I finished up with a project of supervising two nurses (one Rn, one LPN) of that same grant funded position and the supervision was to make sure the project goals were completed. Any nursing issues went to the MD since I cannot "supervise" an RN by state law. THe RN has a sketchy background and was teaching the LPN the wrong way to give immunizations, wrong needle sizes, told her keeping the inventory wasn't all that important, told her to dispose of live vaccine in the waste basket, and several episodes of insubordination to me and going directly to Tribal president to get approval for travel, and a bunch more junk too lengthy to describe. The management team at the time asked me to supervise her specifically as there were many complaints. I did my job and the outcome was for her to be let go. THE MD had no balls to let her go and then decided to put her on a 30 day probation...never happened because he delayed talking to her and then the new CA was hired. He deferred it to her and she decided a 90 day probation was appropriate but then changed her mind and transferred her out to the child care center as a parent educator under a different grant. She did not have to apply for the position. After all of this I now feel it is time to leave. Am I being petty and small thinking this way? I love the patients and have a wide SOP and work up lots of sick and complicated patients. That is what I love. I have applied to a new job much closer to home and should have an upcoming interview in the next 2 weeks or so. At one of the meetings with the MD he kept asking me "Do you want to leave? If you do you need to tell me now! I need to know if you are going to leave??? I could not answer him and was taken aback. My only thought was "If I leave he will have to work M-F" and might have to work alone and that is the only reason he doesn't want me to leave suddenly. Should I just put my head down and go to work and ignore the CA/MD and try to work within the dysfunction? I may not get hired at the other job. He may not give me a good reference. I feel like "The Help". Sorry this is so long. Thanks for any insights. I am very confused and of course this is my one-sided perception of things.
  3. When I graduated from high school, I had felt liberated, but also lost as I realized that many of my close friends and the majority of my class would be leaving to attend four year universities, the same universities I had applied to but was rejected from. Instead, I would have to attend the local community college without any idea of what I wanted to do as a career, as at the time, my decision to attend university was based on experiencing the college life rather than the importance of building a solid foundation for my future. My father, a respiratory therapist, recognized my problem and encouraged me to apply for the respiratory program at the community college. He advised me that if I can become a respiratory therapist, it would provide me with a foundation on which I could reevaluate the direction of my life. Unable to conceive any reasonable options of my own, I followed my dad’s recommendation and was eventually accepted into the respiratory therapy program. During this time in community college, I met and interacted on a consistent basis with many older classmates who returned to school due to a myriad of reasons, primarily unemployment, job insecurities, and family matters as well as the difficulties they had to endure juggling schoolwork, jobs, and family. These exchanges made me realize that I was at a point in life where I should be capitalizing on my education to establish a solid foundation that would not crumble easily in the future. From that point on, I committed myself to finishing the respiratory therapy program and establishing myself as a health care provider, eventually obtaining my respiratory therapy license and being hired at UCLA medical center. My experiences working as a respiratory therapist caring for critical and chronic patients, along with my interactions with patients and a variety of health care professionals, made me reevaluate my future goal. Working in the hospital made me understand that what I had learned up to this point was only scratching the surface of the human body and gave me a new found passion to learn more about the field of medicine. I would make time at work to follow doctors, PAs, and NPs on their rounds and listen in on how they review a patient’s history, describe the patient’s chief complaints and important events in the patient’s hospital course, and devise appropriate treatment plans. Whenever I did my patient research using physicians’ notes and patient’s history and physical in preparation for change of shift report, I would try to learn as much as I can about the diverse disorders as well as their respective treatment options instead of being fixated solely on the pulmonary ailments. Many of the physicians I worked with were residents and interns who would request information from me about patients’ pulmonary status and advice on respiratory treatments and ventilators. Likewise, I would inquire about the other complications afflicting patients and they were more often than not eager to impart their knowledge to me, which made me enthusiastic to learn more so as to become more knowledgeable and provide better care for my patients given that my current understanding of the human body was limited to a specific portion of the body. On the other hand, my interactions with doctors disclosed the many negative aspects of being a doctor, more so than the positives. I noticed the stress that doctors had to endure, even the attending doctors, owing to their long hours and unpredictable schedules due to being on call. I had seen multiple doctors complain about how miserable they were and that if they were given another chance, they would have chosen another career. I was no stranger to stress myself, as I was working and adapting to a new job while attending school to obtain my bachelor’s degree. In addition, the distance I had to travel between home, school, and work, totaled sixty to one hundred miles a day while fighting traffic. I ended up having a case of shingles at the end of my first school semester while working as an RT and became ill for a period of time while struggling with my academics when I initially switched from working day shift to working night shift. When a coworker suggested physician assistant as an alternative, I promptly did my online research on the field and realized that I would not have to concede my personal life for my career. I also shadowed a physician and a physician assistant to obtain a better comparison of the two careers and found that I associated more with the conventional life of the physician assistant than the hectic life of the physician while providing similar care. Furthermore, I was amazed at how much the PA was able to accomplish for his patients by himself and how he was also able to consult with his supervising doctor if he felt uncertain on a particular problem. As a result, I dedicated myself to pursue PA school rather than medical school as the PA profession provided a better balance between personal life and a proficient career. As a RT, I understand the importance of teamwork between levels of medical professions and can relate to their roles and difficulties when providing care, but cannot assist them to the extent that a PA could due to the limited expertise and scope of practice. In addition, I will be committed to my education so as to advance my medical knowledge in order to provide quality care to patients who may otherwise be neglected by busy doctors. PAs are a valuable asset to modern healthcare and will only become more important in the imminent future, therefore I would cherish the chance to partake in and contribute to the progressive development of the PA profession. Currently a bit too long (by about 700 characters). Any suggestions as to what to cut out? Thank you very much to anyone taking the time to read this and/or comment!
  4. This is 2nd draft. Thanks for reviewing my essay and offering your opinions! I appreciate it!!! Everyone has a story and mine is a huge factor in my pursuit to become a physician assistant. Growing up, trips to the hospital were a regular part of my daily life because the two most important men in my life were hospitalized for extended periods of time. My father suffered a life altering stroke and to this day requires around the clock care and my grandpa suffered from Cancer. For this reason, the hospital has always been a place of comfort and for me. I was not the kid afraid of going to the doctor. I was the kid that secretly played with the instruments and marveled at it all. My personal experiences compel me to help others and knowing first-hand the effect that medical professionals have on peoples’ lives compels me to do this in the medical field. In high school I recognized my enjoyment for the systematic approach of science and how applicable it is to everyday life. This fostered my interest in the medical field, as it is a good balance of science and the human aspect. I was introduced to the Physician Assistant field by my primary care physician, Dr. Duran MD, and was instantly intrigued. As I began to learn more about the Physician Assistant field from other health students and professionals, I learned of the amount of hard work and dedication it takes. I was determined to have a career in the medical field so I began searching for colleges that would allow me to achieve my goal. My undergraduate education at Cornell College has provided me with the skill necessary for the demands of Physician Assistant School. Cornell College academics are rigorous, fast paced, and challenging. I was first and foremost a student but athletics allowed me to become a better leader, stay involved in the community, be an ambassador for Cornell, and learn how to work well with others to accomplish a common goal. Playing volleyball, softball, working, and pursuing a degree in Biochemistry and Psychology made student life more challenging at times and my struggle in Organic chemistry II is a testimony to this. I learned just how quickly you can go downhill in a class at Cornell. Within a six day period I went from passing to failing. I felt defeated but more determined than ever to overcome this challenge. After taking the class again and receive an above average grade, I felt a sense of accomplishment. From this experience, I learned how to better prioritize and stay on task, the value of good studying habits, and what you can achieve with hard work. Although I have stumbled a bit, I haven’t let it stop me from pursuing my goal of become a Physician Assistant. There are some key experiences that have helped solidify my interest in becoming a Physician Assistant. In the Anatomy and Physiology class I took at Cornell College, we acted as medical investigators on hypothetical cases. We had to diagnosis and devise a treatment plan. Following extensive research, we presented our case to the class. Specifically, this experience advanced my skills to decipher medical jargon and present information to the average person. Because this is what medical professionals are constantly doing, having an early experience like this will help in a PA program, especially during clinical rotations. My interest in science, however, extends beyond this. During my senior research project, I worked with two other students examining intragenomic DNA variation within the coral genome. We developed a new protocol and decided what experiments we wanted to perform. I take pleasure in the more research side of the field while closely working with others to solve a problem. The Physician Assistant field is similar in that way. During my job shadowing opportunity at the family clinic in Mount Vernon, IA, I got a glimpse into what I aim to be. I especially liked the team atmosphere, the range of patients the PAs were able to care for, and how personable the job allows one to be. This is definitely an environment I foresee in my future. The more I learn about the field from professionals and PA students, the more I know that I am a good. I’m analytical, hard working, self-less, determined, and passionate, some of the qualities an aspiring PA should possess. I understand that the path to becoming a Physician Assistant will be challenging, but my past experiences, my studies in Biochemistry and Psychology, as well as my passion and commitment to my future have prepared me for the intense academics I expect to experience in a Physician Assistant program. This is my dream and I will continue to strive after it. I’m ready for this, am confident in my abilities, and could not image a career in anything else.
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