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  1. Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me some feedback on my personal statement. This is the google doc link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WzHXUUlMxPUMcp_eOcx4ZKpaPwo5IRe1dOQSg6Xfixg/edit Thank you very much!
  2. Hi everyone, I'm looking for someone to help me with my personal statement. I have something of a rough draft written. If anyone could help, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!
  3. I just finished my first draft of my personal statement. I plan to edit it and rewrite it more, but I was unsure where to start. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks! As I sat in the backseat of my car playing games like every other five year old; I noticed something in the corner of my eye. My little brother began to stare off into the distance and his arms along with his body began to jerk. He was having a seizure. I had watched it happen before, but my parents had always been there to comfort him. I did the only thing that I thought I could do and held his hand. He was always confused and upset afterwards, so I sat there with him and told him “ Everything is going to be okay I’m here.” My brother was diagnosed with the genetic disease tuberous sclerosis and has gone through many test and brain surgeries. He is very fortunate to still be able to live a normal life. Everything the nurses, PA’s, and doctors have done for him and my family is what inspired me to purse becoming a PA. I began to work as a CNA after my freshmen year of college. I was very eager to be able to care for someone one on one. I worked full time, so I quickly developed good relationships with the residents. One woman named Angela began to impact me a lot. Whenever she saw me she would get the biggest smile on her face and she always wanted to talk for hours. When I had downtime I would always try to color with her because she loved art. Her daughter was always very thankful when I was her nurse aide because I did a really good job with her and actually cared. For me, it was hard to believe that people would do this job and not care about other people. Unfortunately, Angela began to decline very rapidly. When she eventually passed her daughter talked with me about how thankful she was that I was there for her mother and the impact I made in both of their lives. It never really crossed my mind that I was doing something out of the ordinary. These situations along with many more over the past few years have made me realize how much I love being able to make an impact in someone else’s life. As a PA I will have the ability to get to know patients and make an impact in their life by educating and improving their health. After being a CNA in nursing home for two years I wanted a change of scenery, so I began looking for a job in a hospital. As a PA not being tied to one area of practice and having a lot of job flexibility appeals to me. I like that I could work in family medicine, do surgeries, or even share my passion for medicine with PA students by teaching. I am interested in a lot of different things in medicine, so being a PA gives me the opportunity to explore them all and to continue learning. A big learning experience for me was when I got to volunteer in the ER of a local hospital. This provided me with a real glimpse of what it was like to be a PA. On my first day in the ER I got to see what the PA doctor relationship was like. The PA initially examined the patient and consulted back to the doctor to ask questions. I like that as a PA you can consult and get another opinions from a Doctor. I believe you can learn a lot from other people and being a PA you get to work closely with many different health professionals. It was mesmerizing to see patients come in with chest pains and shortness of breath and watch the medical team use there combined knowledge to work together. Along with that, PA’s are constantly learning. Medicine is always changing and the idea that a new treatment or breakthrough could happen any moment is fascinating to be apart of. It was very interesting for me to see the PA ordering different test for one patient trying to figure out what was wrong like searching for a missing puzzle piece. I couldn’t wait to be on the forefront of the diagnosis and developing a care plan. As I continued to volunteer I noticed how intelligent and professional the PA was with families while still being empathetic. I admired this a lot and plan to be like this when I am a PA. I began to think a lot about what being a PA would be like for me. Going into the medical field is not easy. I have spent countless hours not only studying, but truly trying to understand the material so I can be prepared for PA school. I know there is a lot more of that to come. People say that PA school is like “ trying to drink from a fire hose”. It isn’t going to be easy, but it will be worth it. As a PA student I believe you must commit your whole life to it because in the end it’s another person’s life in your hands. I have learned that medicine is not easy there are complications there are non-curable diseases, and days that don’t seem like they will ever end. I don’t think experiencing a death of a patient will ever become easy, but I do believe there are things that make it extremely worth it. For me, knowing at the end of the day that I could make an impact in someone else’s life even if it was just holding there hand and encouraging them to keep fighting is enough.
  4. “Stacie, harvest the graft,” remarked Dr. Smith to the assisting physician assistant. “Don’t make it too thick. The edges need to be as smooth as possible.” Stacie carefully and confidently harvested the ACL graft. She worked with great precision as she molded it with a small pair of scissors. As she cut, Stacie consulted with Dr. Smith to make sure the size and shape of the graft were correct. What I observed in the OR fascinated me. Stacie, an integral part of the surgical team, possessed much more responsibility for the patient than I would ever be given as an athletic trainer. While she collaborated with Dr. Smith, she clearly also operated in an independent fashion reflective of supreme self-confidence. Although only a year away from earning my degree as an AT, I began to feel a small but gnawing sense of dissatisfaction with the limits of my career choice. Watching Stacie in action that day helped me identify that feeling. I wanted a healthcare career with that type of responsibility and challenge. Another event affirming my decision to become a PA resulted from my interaction with Charlie, an 8-year-old summer hockey camp participant. This emergency situation fully tested my ability to put my skills into practice. The entire hockey camp staff stood on the ice looking over my shoulder as I held little Charlie’s neck in cervical spinal immobilization. Tears streamed from his teammates’ eyes and distraught coaches pressured me to act. “Laney, what do you want to do? Should we call 911? Is he going to be OK?” Amidst the chaos, I knew that paralysis could result if I reacted incorrectly. As an athletic trainer, the nature of injury in sports helped mold me into a quick thinker. Although I learned how to deal with spinal injuries in school, this represented my first evaluation and treatment of a spinal injury in practice. With adrenaline pumping, I managed to respond calmly, “Yes, call a squad and tell them we have a cervical spine injury.” Charlie’s body trembled with fear; I needed to keep him stationary, “Charlie, you’re going to be fine, just lay still.” Wanting to comfort him and to assuage his fear, I told him a funny story about my dog. Although not positive that Charlie suffered from a cervical spine injury, I felt very confident in my evaluation that he needed further care. As I told him about puppy Digby’s fear of the plastic spoon, the distraction calmed him until EMS could get there. I then took the lead in the boarding process, coordinating the medical team to prevent further injury. We boarded Charlie successfully, and EMS took him to the hospital for a detailed examination. Although extremely nervous during this entire experience, I learned to trust myself and my training. I overcame my nerves and used my knowledge, confident I would provide the best quality care for Charlie. I relied on my training to assess the situation and to make a quick decision, remained calm under pressure, worked effectively with other healthcare members, took the lead to prevent further injury and provided comfort to a scared little boy. The many experiences throughout my various healthcare jobs led to my decision to pursue a career as a PA. The events surrounding Stacie and Charlie stood out among my experiences. The increased responsibility over that of an AT as well as the skills and teamwork Stacie displayed in the operating room, revealed the aspects of the PA profession that appeal to me. Overcoming the doubts I had in myself and playing an autonomous role in a coordinated care effort with Charlie, confirmed that I possess the qualities necessary to become a physician assistant. Becoming a PA will fulfill my desire to connect on a personal level, capitalizing on team-based efforts to provide truly patient-focused health care.
  5. Driving around Mexico, the smell of rotting garbage permeating the bus, I glimpsed images of small children in rags and dogs lying on the side of the road. I was only fourteen, and along with my church we were on a mission to build a house in the slums of Mexico. Every day we labored alongside the family and the neighbors, and every day my eyes were open to the perseverance and dedication of these people. Without healthcare, sanitation, and the luxuries of America, these people should have been desolate with abandon. Yet they were the most giving individuals I have ever met. Every member of the community had a part to play, and even with almost nothing to give, they were selfless and charitable to each other. This experience was one that would forever open my eyes to the happiness in providing and caring for others. Similar to my trip in Mexico, my own community has individuals that are less fortunate and therefore depend on the companionship and aid of their community. I realized this in my sophomore year when I began volunteering at the Snake River Valley Community Clinic. Originally, I began volunteering around town as a way to search for a field of interest, having still been undecided in my major yet knowing I wanted to help others. After a few times of volunteering at the clinic, which was designed to offer healthcare and medications to those who could not afford them, I knew that healthcare was the only path. Over the past two years of volunteering in the clinic I have worked in a variety of different areas. Some days I am responsible for aiding in clinical work such as filing charts and organizing medication prescription, others I work hands on with the patients. Because this clinic is completely free, it relies solely on members of the community volunteering, which meant that even after having classes, work, and intermural games I would make time to lend aid. Over the years I have come to recognize familiar patients, and have often worked side by side PA’s of different specialties. During this time I have had the opportunity to witness the intelligence and compassion that they possess. More often than not, they will take extra time with the patients, effectively communicating and listening to their patients concerns and questions. The patience and compassion I saw is what originally sparked my interest towards becoming a PA. I realized that health care is something that every individual should have a right to, and was something that I wanted to dedicate my life towards providing. Taking the first step towards my goal I received my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification and in 2014 attained a job at St. Joes Regional Medical Center on the surgical floor. Here I have worked in collaboration with a phenomenal staff of nurses, doctors, and PA’s who are all a vital part of the health care team. Working alongside nurses has allowed me a great opportunity to further my knowledge of a part of healthcare; however I am constantly interested in the diagnostic and analytical aspects of medicine as well. This is what led me to consult and shadow one of the PA’s on my own floor. Shadowing her, I was in awe of the way she effectively communicated with all of her patients. She was an avid listener and her experiences allowed her to diagnose and quickly form an effective treatment for the patients with ease. Unlike the nurses, she also had a hand in the surgeries and operations of her patients, something that I hope to someday do as well. As a PA, an individual is allowed versatility and flexibility in several disciplines of medicine. Unlike a doctor, who is restrained to one specific specialty, a PA is able to change with disciplines. As a person who enjoys being challenged, this ability to range from assisting in surgery’s to working in the stress of the emergency room, appeals to my nature. As well as the versatility, the collaboration between doctor and PA are something that I look forward to. Every PA I have consulted has shared the benefits of working in collaboration with a doctor. As an outgoing and social person, I enjoy working as a team for the benefit of another, and becoming a PA would offer this relationship. These aspects are what draw me most to becoming a PA. Working in the community and in a hospital I have learned that every individual has a role to play and job to perform. Some roles are smaller and may seem insignificant, yet it is the collaboration and teamwork that holds a functioning society and team together. A PA is only one individual in a team, yet I have seen the difference one compassionate individual can make. It will take perseverance and dedication, but I am more than willing to embark on the challenge. Right now I am a CNA and a student, but someday I hope to fill the shoes of a PA.
  6. I considered a residency. But, then I had the opportunity to speak with HR departments in 3 different hospitals as to the benefits. Basically there's a pay scale for PA's. With no experience you start at the bottom of the scale. With a lot of experience or a residency under your belt, you start higher up on the scale. Regardless, the scale is only so large and therefore with a residency you hit the max cap quicker. Benefits??? You hit the cap in 2 years instead of 3 years. I'm not going to deny the fantastic, dedicated, individual experience one would receive in a residency, but if your goal is to use a residency to get ahead in the payroll side.....it's not worth the time or energy.
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