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  1. This is copied from paadmissions "Ask a PA Admissions Director." I found it hiding in the bowels of that forum (page 81), and I figured placing it here would make it very handy for those perusing personal statements and seeking advice. Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:46 PM Hi guys! I've put together some hints for writing a good personal statement below. These hints were gathered from several medical school websites and from our own experience with our program. Hope this helps! The personal statement is required as a part of any application to PA school. Many applicants make writing a personal statement a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Below are helpful hints and topics to avoid that can help you write a good personal statement. Topic: Why you want to be a PA? Personal Statement Helpful Hints: · Engage the reader and create interest. · Get to the point. There is a character limit for personal statements. One page is usually all it takes to make your point. · Avoid using flowery language and/or big words throughout your statement. · Make sure the statement is structured in a logical order and flows nicely so it is easy to read. · Do not restate your resume. · Incorporate how your healthcare experience and non-healthcare experience (academics, volunteer, and leadership positions) prepared you for PA school. · Be insightful and analytical about your understanding of the role of the PA. Use your clinical experiences to draw this conclusion. · Call out the elephant in the room. If you had a “hiccup” in your academic career, you should BRIEFLY address it (i.e. death in the family, immaturity factor, poor study habits), state what you did to overcome it, and what you have done to sustain an upward trend in your academic performance. · If you have a strong desire to enter a certain field of medicine, explain why. For example, if you want to go into primary care, what have you done to prepare yourself for this field (i.e. clinical experience opportunities, skill sets, are you from a disadvantaged background, etc.), and the challenges PAs face, if any in the particular field. · Have more than one person review your statement. An advisor, career services representative, or a writing center are good resources to utilize. · Avoid contractions. · Avoid acronyms that the common person would not know (this is especially true for military applicants). Qualities to Portray · Maturity · Reflectiveness · Honesty and integrity · Clarity of thought · Passion · Individuality · Positivity · Logic · Distinctiveness · Commitment · Ability to relate to diverse people · Insight into the chosen health profession · Compassion and empathy · Genuineness and sincerity · Leadership · Insightfulness · A realistic perspective · Lessons learned · Self-awareness Themes to Avoid · Clichés: Avoid starting a statement with a famous quote or with cliché’ filler statements like: “I want to be a PA because I like science and I want to help people...” “Ever since I was five I played with my mom/dad’s doctor’s kit..” “I loved to play the game Operation as a child and that sparked my desire to be a PA...” “As I watched my beloved family member pass away, I knew then I wanted to be a PA...” · Restating your resume’: We have already read the majority of your application up to this point, so do not retell your life story again. · Story Time: Limit your personal stories about a patient or incident in the clinic to ONE no more than TWO. The statement should focus more the topics mentioned above. · The “epiphany into medicine”: Your pursuit of the PA profession should be based on your adult experiences up until this point, NOT an instantaneous realization. · Manifest Destiny: You have not always known you want to be a PA and the fact that someone tells you “you’ll make a great PA one day” does not justify why you should be a PA. · Grandiosity: Claiming that you plan to eliminate all the healthcare problems in an area is not realistic and shows a grave lack of understanding of the profession. · The “humble brag”: Of course you’re special, but claiming “you probably do not see many applicants like me” is not only arrogant, but is likely untrue. We’ve seen it all! · Remember your audience: Remember people do have other biases and views that may not agree with yours so avoid controversial topics and statements that could offend someone. Also, remember the admissions committee can be made up of all types of members of the healthcare team. Avoid statements like “I want to be a PA because PAs spend more time with their patients in comparison to physicians.” These types of situations are not always true and you do not want to stereotype an entire profession when you’ve only been around .00000001% of them. · “I am a victim”: Victims are never attractive applicants and any difficulties along the way should be dispassionately addressed. These explanations should be brief and also address what you have done to overcome the situation and what you learned from it. · Excuses: Never, ever blame anyone else for difficulties in your life or academic career. Topsy's 2 cents: Show, don't tell. Don't tell me you're great at multitasking. Show me! Describe it instead: "Despite having to care for my ailing mother at home, work the graveyard shift at the hospital, and help victims of abuse at the women's shelter, I still managed to keep my by grades by merely studying instead of sleeping." What makes the PA profession personally meaningful to you. Do not reiterate catch phrases like autonomy, flexibility, and all those other words that you can find on countless websites/blogs. Do mention personal things you've seen! Like the time you shadowed a PA talking to a family who was strapped for cash, and the PA was sensitive and attentive enough to notice the dilemma and was kind enough to provide their family with ample samples. Again, show, don't tell. Overall, a great personal state can be achieved by getting the reader think - yes. I want to meet the person who wrote this.
  2. I am looking to submit by tonight and would appreciate the help. I would prefer if you are a PA, work at the pa school, admissions, or something of this sort but all help is definitely welcome. Please PM me if you can provide some assistance cMore
  3. I'm looking for feedback on my personal statement. Any feedback and harsh criticism is welcome!!!! Here is it: Junior year preseason was approaching as fast as my previous two years of college had flown by. I spent all summer preparing myself to finally play on the soccer field as a starter, but what I didn’t expect was the whirlwind of events that led to the end of my collegiate athletic career in soccer and track. It all started with what the athletic trainers thought were muscle spasms due to overuse and possible dehydration from the hot and humid weather, but it turns it out was much worse than what we thought. I was transferred from doctor to doctor and diagnosed with diseases such a mononucleosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. I was forced to stay in bed for long periods of time because of the fatigue and struggled to complete my activities of daily living. After several months of doctor’s visits and blood work, the doctor’s confirmed I had Lyme disease. They suspected I had it when I first walked through their office, but the bloodwork didn’t confirm the diagnosis and I was left with unanswered questions. This chronic disease took a lot away from me, but I continued each day to fight back. Doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to run track or play soccer competitively anymore and so I was forced to resign from each team and focus on my studies because my GPA suffered as a result of my illness. For me, being diagnosed with a chronic disease was a blessing in disguise and it drove my motivation to become a physicians assistant even more. What stands out to me the most in the PA profession is the flexibility to work in different medical specialties. Previously, I had the opportunity to shadow a pediatric PA as well as other PAs in emergency medicine, orthopedics and geriatrics from my time as a volunteer. I spent most of my time as a volunteer watching how doctors, PAs, nurses and technicians interacted with patients and it reminded me of teamwork. The field of medicine, just like soccer, uses teamwork as a key component of patient care. I noticed that the PAs had more time to spend with patients discussing rehabilitation options and infection preventions after their surgeries all while having the partnership with a physician to collaboratively work to treat patient. Lyme disease sparked my interest in diseases and as a PA I could play a role in developing a plan of action in regards to treatment that considered multiple influences and multiple methods for treating and preventing diseases, while also advocating optimal health and well-being. From volunteering to shadowing to working two jobs and still finding time to work out, I learned to manage my time and keep myself focused on my goals. Because I got sick, my GPA suffered and although I worked hard to maintain the grades I had that semester, I didn’t get the end result I ultimately wanted. Although I was no longer involved in athletics, I maintained the mindset to improve my grades as well as becoming more involved at my school. I decided to change my Spanish minor to a major to utilize my language skills in different healthcare settings in addition to adding a public health minor. Aside from academics, I volunteered more at St. Luke’s Hospital and Grace Park Senior Living and became more involved in the community. With a heavy course load semester by semester, I never lost track of where I wanted to be and improved my grades simultaneously. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to be exposed to different fields all while putting me out of my comfort zone. Through my experience as a volunteer at St. Luke’s I wasn’t positive if I could juggle the chaos that it brought. When I shadowed a PA at St. Luke’s Kids, it was calm and quiet, much different than the environment of the emergency room. I was able to watch a PA perform light procedures such as stitching and rectal exams. Another PA allowed me to feel more involved as she showed me her daily routine of obtaining medical history of the patient, performing physician examinations and discussing reasons for visit with the patient as she analyzed the condition. As a volunteer, I was lucky enough to be exposed to different settings within the emergency room that I became fascinated with the PA position. With a career as a PA, I know my answer to “how was your day” will always be, “life changing.” During my time as a volunteer, I was fortunate enough to change lives in similar ways as the PA I strive to be. Outside of my qualifications on paper, I have been told I am compassionate. Years from today, through my growth and different experiences as a PA, I will evolve to be a role model for someone with the same qualities and professional objectives as I have today. I chose PA because I love the flexibility it has and working as a team. As a volunteer, helping others made me feel like I had a purpose and as a PA there is no other profession I would rather be in. Admittance to a respectable program is not the beginning or end of my journey, but rather my next step to become a reflection of who I loo
  4. I was wondering if there is any site that can review my PS for me?
  5. Would anyone be willing to read over my personal statement and share your thoughts with me?
  6. Hi everyone, As I excitedly await to begin the PA program I will be attending this fall, I realized that I will have some spare time to help Pre-PA individuals with their personal statements. I hope to provide some insightful feedback. Forewarning: It may take me a while to get back to you all, but I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. I will probably stop reading personal statements and giving feedback around July. I know how stressful it is to write a stellar PS. A PS is crucial in setting you apart from the many applicants out there competing for the select few spots available per program. I was fortunate enough to find a few people on this online forum to review my PS. I found that they were some of the most helpful pieces of advice as they were the least biased sets of critiques I've ever had. As for my journey through the application cycle, I applied to around 14 programs and interviewed for 12 and got accepted to 10. I've gotten accepted to many of my top picks, including my number one choice. I felt very fortunate with the outcomes of my applications. I applied right out of undergrad and had the minimum patient care experience for many of the programs (~1000 hrs). I spent a lot of time writing my PS, knowing that it would be something that could offset some of the weak points of my application. As a personal preference, I will choose not to share my own personal statement. I highly encourage you to post your PS here as it'll open opportunities for other people to read and possibly provide additional feedback. Good luck to you all!
  7. I've been getting a fair amount of questions lately. Just to clarify: YES. I will help you with your personal statement. No need to ask! No I wasn't an english major, and nor have I been on an ad comm or anything (hopefully I will be one day in the future). I am simply a PA-S with UNTHSC class of 2018 (woot!), and I have no problem reaching out to PA hopefuls and future colleagues. Plus I'm a total nerd and don't mind doing this type of thing. Please note: I will give honest criticism. It may come across as harsh or brutal, but my intention is not to insult anyone. I will reply fairly quickly - within a few days, for sure. If it takes a while, don't be insulted. I might be stumped on what pointers to give you. Or swamped with personal statements? (I'm not sure how many of you are interested in my feedback.) If you want me to read other drafts as you continue to make changes and get feedback, I can glance over those too. You could post it on here if you're not shy, or just let me know if you've posted it already on the forum and I'll find it. Or if you prefer, you can PM me. Oh, this is a limited time offer, btw!!! I start school on July 20th. So I'll probably only accept new edits until July 18th, so I can get them done before school starts.
  8. Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to review my essay.
  9. Hey guys, I would really appreciate any thoughts and/or critiques about the flow and overall theme of my statement. Is there anything missing or not well expalined? The door flew open and slammed against the adjacent wall. I entered a darkened room where I could only make out the outlines of other patients and hear the noise of chatter and children crying. As my eyes adjusted to the sharp contrast from the glaring sun outside, I slowly made my way to the counter. “Sign in,” said a voice and I looked down to see a chewed-up pin and a pile of torn paper. I wrote my name and date of birth and handed it to the clerk, who pointed out seats against a wall nearby. "Have a seat; we’ll call you when we’re ready.” I took a seat alongside a crowd of young women and children and patiently waited my turn to be seen at my local health department. As a teenager without health insurance, I spent many years “in the system,” seeing first-hand the demand for affordable primary care. My experiences at the local health department made me dread going, never knowing if I would ever see the same provider again. Like many others in my situation, I eventually stopped going. After these experiences, I decided to make a career in healthcare, where I hope to be part of the solution of providing stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened. I began my journey as a pharmacy technician, a job that solidified my interests in the science of medicine and furthered my awareness of the huge role of primary care providers in the health system. This perspective grew substantially when I began working in registration at the emergency department of my local hospital. Just as I had at the health department years earlier, patients without options sat for hours to be seen for fevers and headaches. My observations pushed me to continue with a career in medicine. After graduating from college, I moved home to pursue my career, climbing from being a unit secretary to becoming a patient care technician. There I got my first hands-on experiences with patients. One morning as I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so we could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/dL. With the nurse at my side, we got the patient back to bed and gave IV glucose. It was a rite of passage for me; I was happy to have recognized symptoms and then reacted appropriately without hesitation. Moments like this led me to see that I wanted to not only treat patients but learn to diagnose as well. Many of us have mentors who helped guide us in our journeys. After nearly nine years in healthcare, I began working with Mike, a physician assistant on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. I watched him take the extra time with patients to go over each medication, not only to ensure there were no drug interactions but also to explain the purpose of each. When his patients need refills, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they can confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. I saw first-hand how understanding a patient’s problems and taking the time to address them can greatly reduce complications and improve the quality of life for those in our communities. PAs play an important role in this mission and they do so as part of a team. A team-based care system is very important to me. I learned the value of a solid support network while struggling after the death of my cousin. The pain of losing my best friend had a profound effect on me and my grade suffered. The personal disappointment I felt after failing two semesters made it difficult for me to continue on my career path. However, with the backing of my friends and family, I was able to push forward and overcome these trials. I was taught stress-management and determination through these hardships and they will aid me as I endeavor this challenging and evolving career as a PA. With my professional training in the medical field, I have a good understanding and appreciate everyone’s roles in healthcare. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am confident in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident in my ability to relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider. Thanks in advance!
  10. 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!
  11. Hi, I'm a first time applicant and I really don't have anyone to read my statement so I'm reaching out to you for help. I'm over my character limit my 809 and I can't find where to cut. I'm also not sure if I'm going the right direction with this statement. I appreciate any comments!! As a teenager without health insurance, I spent many years ignoring symptoms or eking by with whatever remedies I already had at home. Sure, when these methods did not work, I was forced to see a doctor, however, this was rarely the case. Thankfully, I was generally healthy and could manage only going to my health department once a year. Unfortunately, this is not the circumstance for many, and chronic illnesses go undiagnosed and uncontrolled. I can understand why someone would rather ignore their symptoms than see a doctor. I dreaded going to the health department because I never knew if I would ever see the same provider again. Many just do not recognize the importance of preventive care and how it could save their heart, foot, or even life. Some just feel like they do not connect with their provider or just 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 be part of the solution of providing stability for the underprivileged, underrepresented, and financially burdened. Having spent nearly ten years in healthcare, I have interacted with a variety of providers, but it is to a physician assistant (PA) that I relate. PAs help close the gap of disparities within healthcare by providing an affordable means to primary care. Also, with the supportive nature of a PA in the physician-PA team, they are available to allow for more time with each patient. This is important not only in forming a lasting relationship with patients, but also in giving them the knowledge to make healthy decisions. In addition, the generalist training that PAs obtain make them more flexible to adapt to the needs of their community and even carry their skills globally. All of these reasons are significant to me, having seen many of these issues firsthand. Upon graduating from high school, I became a pharmacy technician. This position solidified my interests in the science of medicine and furthered my awareness of the huge role of primary care providers in the health system. I remember, on several occasions, patients coming in and requesting a refill for a medication that they not only could not name but had no idea why it was prescribed. Others, having seen so many different providers, had redundant medications or even drug interactions. After several years at the pharmacy, I knew I wanted to be more involved with patients and began working in registration at the emergency department of my local hospital. I witnessed patients without options sit for hours to be seen for fevers and headaches, just as I had years earlier. For many, this was their primary care experience. One PA there recognized this and provided them extra attention. I watched him take the time to go over each medication these patients were taking, not only to ensure there were no drug interactions but also to explain the purpose of each. When his patients need refills, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they can confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. My perspective grew substantially due to this; I wanted to be a patient advocate. I moved home after college to further my career in medicine. Rising from a unit secretary to becoming a patient care technician, I got my first hands-on experiences with patients. This position showed me how rewarding patient care is, even if it can be messy and often thankless. One morning as I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so we could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/dL. With the nurse at my side, we got the patient back to bed and gave IV glucose. I am happy to have recognized these symptoms and react appropriately without hesitation. Moments like this led me to see that I want to not only treat patients but learn to diagnose as well. I know the path to becoming a PA will be difficult. A PA program is not only a science-intensive graduate-level platform, but it is in an accelerated format that involves a great deal of dedication and determination. As someone who has held two, sometimes three, jobs while attending university full-time, I am confident in my skills obtained in time- and stress-management. I recall, on several occasions, getting off work, eating in the car on the way to class, coming home to study all night, then doing it all again the next day. The ability to balance multiple obligations while still finding time for yourself takes practice, but is important for mental and physical health as well as success in such a rigorous program. For me, the most significant tool in succeeding under such stress is a strong support network. During my sophomore year in undergrad, I lost my older cousin. Never having dealt with death before, I was unable to cope with losing my best friend; eventually, I failed two semesters. Reflecting upon this irresponsibility, I was able to use the trust and support of my family and friends to overcome this hardship and push forward. These abilities, however, will help me succeed in this challenging new academic path. My professional experiences in several healthcare fields has given me a unique perspective of the process involved in patient care, from the moment they come in to after they leave. This has made me cognizant and appreciative of everyone’s role in said process. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am certain in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident that I can relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider.
  12. You guessed it! I am a first time applicant and you guys are the only ones that can help me with critiquing my personal statement. Im actually pretty surprised I stayed under the character limit for my rough draft. Please look it over and tell me how bad it stinks! The door flew open and slammed against the adjacent wall. The room was dark and all I could make out were figures and the noise of chatter and children crying. As my eyes adjusted to the sharp contrast in darkness from the blaring sun outside, I made my way to the counter. “Sign in,” said a voice and I looked down to see a chewed up pin and a pile of ripped up pieces of paper, on which I wrote my name and date of birth. The voice came out again “have a seat; we’ll call you when we’re ready.” I turned to see a room, no bigger than a two bedroom apartment, full of young women and children of various ages. I took a seat and waited for my turn to be seen at my local health department. As an adolescent without health insurance, I have seen first-hand the demand for providers that can offer available healthcare. My experiences at the local health department made me dread going, never knowing if I would see the same provider again. Like many others in my situation, I just stopped going. After these experiences, I knew I wanted to be the stability for the underprivileged and financially burdened. I began my role in healthcare as a pharmacy technician. It was this job that solidified my interests in the science of medicine. It was also this exposure which showed me that primary care providers play a huge role in the health system. However, it was not until I began working in registration for the Emergency Department of my local hospital that I could see just how important this role is; patients sitting for hours to be seen for a fever and headache because they do not have any other option for healthcare. These observations pushed me to continue in medicine. After moving home to pursue this career, I climbed my way from a unit secretary to a patient care technician where I had my first hands-on experiences with patients. I remember a particular incident where while I was assisting a patient to the bathroom, she began sweating and complaining of blurred vision. I immediately called for someone to come in so I could check her blood sugar levels; it was 37 mg/Dl. With the nurse by my side, we got Ms. Kay safely to the bed and began treating her with intravenous glucose. I was so excited and proud of myself for recognizing the symptoms and being able to react without hesitation. It is moments like this one that I recognize my desires are not only to treat patients, but also diagnose illnesses. After working closely with many health providers for nearly ten years, none stood out to me like Mike, a physician assistant on the cardiothoracic surgery unit. I have seen him take the extra time to go over every medication a patient had not only to ensure there was no drug interactions but to explain and write down the uses of each for when they returned home. When this patient needs a refill, instead of asking for “the little blue pill,” they will confidently ask for their blood pressure medication. Understanding these problems and taking the time to address them through patient education and support can greatly improve the quality of life for those in our communities. PAs help to carry out this idea of preventive medicine over episodic care as a team. A team-based care system is very important to me. I learned the value of a solid support network while struggling after the death of my cousin. The pain of losing my best friend, and the personal disappointment I felt after failing two semesters, made it difficult for me to continue on my career path confidently. However, with the backing and trust of my peers, much like a PA in their practice, I was able to push forward and overcome these trials. I was taught stress-management and determination through these hardships and they will aid me as I endeavor this challenging and evolving career as a PA. With my professional training in the medical field, I have a good understanding and appreciate everyone’s roles in healthcare. We come from several backgrounds and experiences that allow us to integrate together and ultimately provide better patient care. I am confident in my ability to translate my skills into my studies as well as future practice and become a successful PA. I am also confident in my ability to relate and help close the gap in available healthcare as a primary care provider.
  13. Hey everyone! Katie from Alabama here. I am an RRT (2 years experience) trying to get into PA school. I am struggling with this personal statement. I somehow ended up writing TWO... they are completely different (in my eyes) I would love any input you guys have as to which one the admissions committee may value more! I'm not exactly looking for help editing them (though I would gladly accept because I definitely need it) I am just trying to decide which one is worth me continuing to work on...Thank you so much!! -Katie PS # 1: My interest in medicine began at a young age. I was first introduced to the health care field as I regularly made visits to the emergency room being a carefree child. As the years passed and I grew older, I began to consider different roles within this field. I decided I wanted to be a nurse so I could care directly for patients. I had every intention of being the best nurse any patient could have. I knew it was perfect for me because I enjoyed communicating with people and I felt like I could make patients feel more at ease even though they were going through a medical crisis. I had the opportunity to shadow a family practice nurse at a local doctor's office and realized that the nursing profession wasn't for me. I didn't give up here, searching for other modalities in health care, I shadowed a dermatologist and her team. During my time shadowing, I was introduced to the profession of Physician Assistant. I was very much impressed that a PA can see their own patients, treat and diagnose them, and still rely on the physician’s knowledge when needed. This experience with a Physician Assistant solidified all my desires of working in medicine. I knew that choosing this as my profession would allow me to interact with patients closely and be a vital asset to the medical field. My passion for learning more about the human body intensified when I took an elective course at my junior college. The course was Human Gross Anatomy and Pathology which consisted of mostly cadaver dissection. What seems gruesome to most people was completely fascinating to me. I eagerly attended class every day because I thoroughly enjoyed studying human anatomy. I loved being able to physically touch the muscles, bones, and organs of the cadaver. Although anatomy books provide pretty realistic illustrations of anatomical features, the experience of direct examination of cadavers enhanced my interest in learning. The fifteen weeks I spent dissecting my cadaver was only the beginning to a lifetime passion I have for learning more about medicine and the human body. Naturally, I began pursuing an undergraduate degree that would allow me to be as involved in patient care as possible. I continued my education at the University as a Respiratory Therapy major. The program coursework gave me valuable knowledge about the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, while the clinical requirements allowed me to gain hands on experience dealing with a variety of patient ailments. Transitioning from a student to a young professional, I began my career as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) at the state’s only pediatric specialty hospital. Here, I work in a level IV NICU caring for a wide range of patients including extreme prematurity to infants requiring surgery. I manage artificial airways, conventional and high-frequency oscillatory ventilators, nitric oxide administration, and blood gas interpretation. Working in an intensive care unit matured my ambition to become a physician assistant. I often assist doctors and with intubations, codes, and bedside surgeries which only makes me aspire to do more in the realm of health care. The valuable experience I have gained as an RRT will undoubtably aid in my journey to becoming a PA. I am choosing a career as a physician assistant because I am passionate about medicine. I am eager to learn more about the human body and excited to share my knowledge with future patients. Deciding at a young age to work in health care has granted me with the ability to stay focused on this career goal throughout life. My work as an RRT has allowed me to stay dedicated to patient care and gain valuable experience along the way. With the knowledge gained from the physician assistant program, I know that I will be able to provide the best quality care for my patients. PS #2: She was the first patient that I truly loved. Big brown eyes, beautiful curly brown hair, and a smile that would melt your heart. She was everybody’s favorite, her name was Baby A. Her mother referred to their time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a roller coaster ride, the only thing for certain was the uncertainty that each day would bring. I had only been working as a respiratory therapist in the NICU a few weeks before I met Baby A and her mother. I took a liking to them from the moment we met. The mom was young and was going through some family issues, so I instantly became someone she felt comfortable talking to. I spent a lot time in Baby A’s room, monitoring her ventilator and respiratory treatments, as well as keeping up my relationship with mom. Each passing day, her condition would change, some days were improvements and some days were setbacks. For seven and a half months Baby A would fight for her life, being an inspiration to everyone who met her. Months later, I remember her mom tapping me on the shoulder as I was charting. Tears in her eyes, she was about to have to make the hardest decision any parent has to make. Baby A was not improving and hadn’t over the past few weeks. Doctor’s gave her mother the new prognosis and she chose what was best for her daughter. I stood there with her and hugged her and cried with her. No words to say, just showed the love and compassion I had for her. Was this okay? Was this allowed? The questions popped in my head as I held the mother in my arms. The only thing I knew for certain was that it felt like the right thing to do. The right thing to do at this moment was to show a human response for a very real human emotion. And that was okay. I have learned through this experience that health care isn’t always about saving the day or healing the sick, but rather being there to comfort the patient and their families. I am choosing to become a physician assistant because I want to combine my passion for helping people and my love for medicine. I know that I obtain all the characteristics needed to pursue a career as a PA, and with the knowledge gained from this program, I will be able to provide the best quality care to my patients. In memory of Baby A and other patients who have touched my life, I want benevolence to be a distinct characteristic in my approach to health care. I want to heal others with my knowledge as well as with the empathy I show them. Thank you again.
  14. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! "To say I was an accident prone child is an understatement. I frequented doctors’ offices and emergency rooms for a variety of injuries and ailments. I remember staying home sick from elementary school, curling up on the sofa to watch marathons of “Medical Mysteries” and “Trauma: Life in the ER”. My squeamish parents were somewhat disgusted by my gruesome choice of entertainment and were puzzled by my infatuation with medicine. Even so, my interest and enthusiasm for medical care persisted. In 2006, after I was involved in a serious golf cart accident, I knew for certain that I would pursue a career in healthcare. I suffered extensive injuries after being ejected from the vehicle, run over, and dragged along the pavement. I remember the rushed atmosphere and commotion of the emergency room as I lay there feeling shocked by the gravity of the situation. Then, Michelle walked in, a smiling brunette clad in a crisp white coat. I assumed she was a physician as she explained the imaging procedures and tests I would soon undergo. She addressed me not as a naïve thirteen-year-old but simply as a concerned patient. She answered all my questions and stayed engaged in our conversation even as she performed an intra-articular injection to determine if my knee joint had been compromised. I was in awe at the combination of her technical proficiency and calm disposition. Not until years later, after attending a physician assistant symposium in college, did I realize Michelle was a physician assistant. After my accident, my passion for medicine persisted. In high school, I enrolled in Honors Anatomy and Physiology and was fascinated by the field trips to watch an open-heart surgery and visit a cadaver lab. My teachers noted my enthusiasm for the subject and nominated me to attend a medical leadership conference at Georgetown University. When selecting a college major, I chose Nutritional Sciences because of the strong focus on biological science; it also provided a unique perspective on clinical work and emphasized the critical thinking skills necessary in practice. I worked assiduously because I knew exemplary academics were necessary when applying to graduate programs. However, despite struggling with a personal crisis during my sophomore year, I was determined not to let one semester mar the academic record I had worked so hard to achieve. I made significant changes in my life and learned how to maximize my academic potential while managing stress in a healthy way. This experience was a critical point of self-exploration, and I am confident it was an important step in preparing me for the rigors of PA school. Once I was comfortable managing the challenges of a science-heavy course load, I began to focus on gaining more experience working in healthcare. Although my interest to learn the intricacies of medicine was undeniable, I was still unsure about which career would be the best fit for me. I spoke with doctors, nurses, and PAs to determine the differences between these types of practitioners. While trying to make a decision, I repeatedly thought of Michelle, my earliest inspiration. I saw clearly that compared to other healthcare professionals, PAs have a unique opportunity to build a rapport with their patients by getting to know them on a personal level, which is what I value most. However, it was not until I became a certified nursing assistant at an assisted living facility that I truly understood how much I valued being a part of someone’s healing process. Initially, I saw the job as an opportunity to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, but I realized quickly the magnitude of this experience was much greater than I anticipated. It is remarkable to watch the aging process unfold and see the devastating progression of diseases. It is my responsibility to not only provide care to the residents, but also to be vigilant about changes in their condition, to be compassionate about the struggles they endure in light of their impending mortality, and to listen to them when nobody else will. These moments make me realize what an honor it is to be a healthcare provider. Although my academic journey has always been aimed towards a career in medicine, my unique life experiences are what inspired me to become a physician assistant. The PA profession encompasses my passion for scientific knowledge and my desire to build relationships with patients. Pursuing such a fulfilling and exciting career leaves me with a profound sense of purpose and the definitive notion I will be a successful physician assistant."
  15. Good morning all, I got stuck in a story and I need a little help hacking into it. I cant seem to do it on my own. Any help is appreciated!!! I first met Marcus a little over 2 years ago when he and his family were new to our clinic where I work as a clinical research coordinator (CRC). They were desperate to know why 8 year old Marcus wasn’t growing; his younger sister towered above him. As loving siblings often do, they were constantly tackling each other to the floor while their mother and Dr. Wright were talking. “Stop it! Stop it or we’re not got to GameStop!” You have to understand the office in which I am a CRC is located in Tallahassee, however most of our patient population comes from rural, and medically underserved areas in Georgia and Florida (no GameStop). This 8 year old and his family traveled in their beat up jeep three hours on dirt and back roads to get to our clinic for their first visit. Back to the story: While Dr. Wright is explaining the results of the GH Stimulation test and MRI it becomes clear that Marcus’ mother is getting overwhelmed. This is where I am introduced for a second time by Dr. Wright as she leaves the room, and it becomes clear why I am there. As a CRC, I scout out patients who may be interested in participating in clinical trials. This family was a perfect fit, they just didn’t know it and it is my job to explain all corners of the clinical trial. After clarifying Marcus’ results and explaining the clinical trial to the family, the mother had questions. She asked all of the standard newly diagnosed and clinical trial questions with Marcus making sure she get directions to GameStop. I could tell her mind was racing with thoughts but my position in our team affords me the opportunity to answer every question one at a time until clarity begins to form. After sending Marcus' family home with some paperwork she and the patient eventually decided to go with the clinical trial. Now I get to catch-up on the latest school gossip, verify dosing and I’m the first to show him and his mother his growth chart at their research visits. At times however, I am also charged with the duty of giving the patient and family bad news, like when their Home Healthcare Nurse was no longer going to be coming to the patient’s apartment for their GH injections. Because this family was so far from the clinic, there was only one solution; I would have to teach them how to administer the injections. The mother panicked and refused to learn. She even threatened to pull out of the clinical trial unless the nurse was reinstated. As frustrating as the situation was, our hands were tied. Marcus at this point looked to me for help. I ask him would he like to learn how to give himself a GH injection if mom supervised and he wholeheartedly agreed. After 15 minutes of practicing drawing up the saline diluents properly, and injecting pillows, my arm and then finally his thighs, he was ready for the real thing. He gave his first GH injection with Dr. Wright, his mother, and myself watching the whole process. We were all so astonished with him. “You didn’t make one mistake, I am so proud of you! It’s amazing how far you’ve come since your first visit here!” I told him. Later, as we were checking his mother out, Marcus opened the book he was reading for school and read a quote out loud with the hopes of getting the attention back on him. “Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.” These words struck a chord with me. There’s no way he could know I’ve been down about an unsuccessful PA school application cycle, right? As I stood there speechless, mouth half open, Marcus noticed my stare. His eyes widened with excitement and he yelled “GAMESTOP!” shoved me out of the way, and bolted out the front door. Marcus didn’t know it, but listening to him read those words was the impetus I needed to redouble my efforts for PA school matriculation. I may not have succeeded on my first try, but with the lessons I’ve learned this past year, I know that I can reach my goal of becoming a PA. In all of this is should be clear why I want to be a PA; I love the relationships that can be forged with patients in a clinical setting. Furthermore, I understand and appreciate the fact that the highest quality, most compassionate care comes from a well-trained collaborative healthcare team. A rapidly changing healthcare field calls for healthcare professionals that can respond quickly, while still providing the care all patients deserve. I believe as a PA I’ll be in the best position to work within the complex and diverse organization that is healthcare, with the efforts of making a patients experience the best it can be. This has always been my goal. In fact, I can’t imagine a more fulfilling career. Sometimes, though, it takes a 10 year old to remind you that you have the courage to push on.
  16. This is my second draft and I would really appreciate any feedback possible! Thanks! The CBC showed an abnormally high white blood count and a conversely low count in both red blood cells and platelets. As she approached the reception desk, her hands were shaking and her eyes were dilated. At 23 years old, the woman was remarkably weathered and fatigued. After providing me with her name and appointment time, she stared at me with curiosity as she inquired about my age and purpose of being there. Providing a quick synopsis of my interest in medicine and desire for opportunities to gain experience in the field, she shook her head in what seemed to be understanding and acknowledgement before returning to her seat in the waiting room. This was not the last time I would see this woman, and as the weeks passed and her presence was more and more frequent, I began to learn more about her previous life- that is, before the diagnosis. Having been a student, like myself, of medicine for three years of undergraduate, her unexpected illness progressed with alacrity, forcing her to return back home. Aggressive treatment was taking a toll on her physical state, and the failure to recognize the symptoms earlier hindered the effectiveness of it despite the efforts of the persistent network of healthcare providers involved. No familial relation- simply an acquaintance with a special bond- her death weighed heavily on my heart and mind. It was then that I knew I had chosen the right path. The death of my grandmother in 2003 from metastatic breast cancer as well as that of my stepfather in 2009 familiarized me with the profession at a very young age. Prior to these challenging events, my perception of medicine was founded solely on the principle that medicine is a scientific, straight-forward, one way approach to “fixing” a physical problem. Through these incredibly difficult times, however, I came to realize what is really required in quality medical care. Good medicine treats the whole person. Good medicine is as much art as it is science. Furthermore, a profession which centers on the assessment and treatment of social, physical, and emotional health is what renders medicine a true art; a learned practice with perfected techniques through the application of experience and interpretation. This was an essential recognition that allowed me to depart from the pain and instead focus my attention toward the larger perspective. I witnessed the remainder of my loved ones lives’ extended in comfort under the guidance and reassurance of the compassionate and skilled healthcare networked team with whom they consulted. They were not just healthcare providers but healers in every sense of the word. It wasn’t until my junior year of undergraduate education that I considered exploring the duties of a physician assistant, much less even knowing what exactly it was. It was the summer of 2014 that I was first introduced to the position and was subsequently able to evaluate my potential options within the health care profession. Acquiring a job at a local Oncologist’s office, I was designated as the “administrative assistant” to the physician. At the same time, I was volunteering in the local hospital, and one that worked closely with the Oncology clinic of which I was employed. When at the office, I was able to observe the physician, but simultaneously was given the opportunity to shadow the PA within the hospital setting. In this arrangement, I was able to contrast and compare the responsibilities and duties of both professions. I was instantly enthralled by the principal aspect that drew me to medicine in the first place with my few prior experiences-patient interaction. The physician assistant achieved a patient interaction that facilitated an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. She was able to expedite the most efficient communication and interaction-across all specialties-so as to ensure the realization of the pinnacle of patient treatment within the hospital. This is something that I have sought to accomplish from the very start of my exploration of medicine. I strongly desire to continue development and appropriation of the attitude and mindset that I have seen transpire so many times within a medical setting. Ultimately, a physician’s assistant, together with the physician, must delicately intertwine the unique elements of each patient’s history into a treatment considering each avenue of health. It is the responsibility of the physician’s assistant, as I firmly believe, to enhance the efficacy and intricacies of the treatment network through interaction, expertise, and commitment. With this privilege, however, comes great responsibility; one that I have worked to understand on a much more intimate level through the experiences that I have undertaken. As a student within the physician’s assistant program, I would continue to strive to become a key contributor to the betterment of the community and to improve the lives of those that need it, as I have come to know first-hand the remarkable capabilities of modern medicine.
  17. The CBC showed an abnormally high white blood count and a conversely low count in both red blood cells and platelets. As she approached the reception desk, her hands were shaking and her eyes were dilated. At 23 years old, the woman was remarkably weathered and fatigued. After providing me with her name and appointment time, she stared at me with curiosity as she inquired about my age and purpose of being there. Providing a quick synopsis of my interest in medicine and desire for opportunities to gain experience in the field, she shook her head in what seemed to be understanding and acknowledgement before returning to her seat in the waiting room. This was not the last time I would see this woman, and as the weeks passed and her presence was more and more frequent, I began to learn more about her previous life- that is, before the diagnosis. Having been a student, like myself, of medicine for three years of undergraduate, her unexpected illness progressed with alacrity, forcing her to return back home. Aggressive treatment was taking a toll on her physical state, and the failure to recognize the symptoms earlier hindered the effectiveness of it despite the efforts of the persistent network of healthcare providers involved. No familial relation- simply an acquaintance with a special bond- her death weighed heavily on my heart and mind. It was then that I knew I had chosen the right path. The death of my grandmother in 2003 from metastatic breast cancer as well as that of my stepfather in 2009 familiarized me with the profession at a very young age. Prior to these challenging events, my perception of medicine was founded solely on the principle that medicine is a scientific, straight-forward, one way approach to “fixing” a physical problem. Through these incredibly difficult times, however, I came to realize what is really required in quality medical care. Good medicine treats the whole person. Good medicine is as much art as it is science. Furthermore, a profession which centers on the assessment and treatment of social, physical, and emotional health is what renders medicine a true art; a learned practice with perfected techniques through the application of experience and interpretation. This was an essential recognition that allowed me to depart from the pain and instead focus my attention toward the larger perspective. I witnessed the remainder of my loved ones lives’ extended in comfort under the guidance and reassurance of the compassionate and skilled healthcare networked team with whom they consulted. They were not just healthcare providers but healers in every sense of the word. It wasn’t until my junior year of undergraduate education that I considered exploring the duties of a physician assistant, much less even knowing what exactly it was. It was the summer of 2014 that I was first introduced to the position and was subsequently able to evaluate my potential options within the health care profession. Acquiring a job at a local Oncologist’s office, I was designated as the “administrative assistant” to the physician. At the same time, I was volunteering in the local hospital, and one that worked closely with the Oncology clinic of which I was employed. When at the office, I was able to observe the physician, but simultaneously was given the opportunity to shadow the PA within the hospital setting. In this arrangement, I was able to contrast and compare the responsibilities and duties of both professions. I was instantly enthralled by the principal aspect that drew me to medicine in the first place with my few prior experiences-patient interaction. The physician assistant achieved a patient interaction that facilitated an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. She was able to expedite the most efficient communication and interaction-across all specialties-so as to ensure the realization of the pinnacle of patient treatment within the hospital. This is something that I have sought to accomplish from the very start of my exploration of medicine. I strongly desire to continue development and appropriation of the attitude and mindset that I have seen transpire so many times within a medical setting. Ultimately, a physician’s assistant, together with the physician, must delicately intertwine the unique elements of each patient’s history into a treatment considering each avenue of health. It is the responsibility of the physician assistant, as I firmly believe, to enhance the efficacy and intricacies of the treatment network through interaction, expertise, and commitment. With this privilege, however, comes great responsibility; one that I have worked to understand on a much more intimate level through the experiences that I have undertaken. As a student within the physician’s assistant program, I would continue to strive to become a key contributor to the betterment of the community and to improve the lives of those that need it, as I have come to know first-hand the remarkable capabilities of modern medicine.
  18. I will thoroughly proofread anyone's personal statement in exchange for you voting for me in this scholarship competition!! Quickly!! Voting ends tonight, April 29, 2015 at 11:59 EST 1. go to: www.diplomaframe.com/FMF2015-Naguit 2. click on "Vote for This Entry" 3. enter your email address (1 vote per email address, so if you have multiple email addresses, please vote for me multiple times!) 4. check your email to confirm your vote 5. pass this on to get others to vote for me! Msg me your personal statements after you finish voting! Thanks for the support!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  19. If anyone needs a review for their personal statement send me a message.
  20. So, I'm pretty pleased with how my essay has evolved. This is draft number...8? 10? Ugh. Who knows. But I'm under the character limit, and now I've simply looked at it too much!! So much so that I can't even figure out how to formulate a proper conclusion. Please help! Just write the damn last paragraph for me. I've used up all my editing energy. I've put in red all the things that I'm kind of iffy about; debating if they are are necessary or if they don't bring anything to the table. Thanks for your feedback folks!!! “Will you go to nursing or medical school?” Growing up in a Filipino household with a physician as my father, I was raised in a culture that viewed picking a career as choosing medicine...or medicine. When I was young, my parents beamed with pride when I said I wanted to be a doctor. Little did they know that I only said that because it was what my father did; if he were a garbage man, I imagine I would have had the same zeal for discarded furniture and old tin cans. In reality, I was not sure what I wanted. However, one fact was certain – I wanted absolutely nothing to do with medicine. But to my surprise, as much as I tried to avoid medicine, medicine found me. As the daughter of a physician, I had been fortunate enough to have access to quality medical care as a child. However, after I began working three jobs in Chicago with no health insurance, I quickly learned the realities of healthcare access that nearly 22 millions Americans experienced within the past year: I walked into a public health clinic and was stunned. With a security guard looming at the door, a ticket dispenser reminiscent of the butcher shop, and a waiting room that appeared more intimidating than inviting, these conditions merely hinted at what I was about to encounter inside. My doctor's visit was hasty and embarrassing, without any chance to ask questions or a moment to voice my worries. Overall, the experience left me feeling deflated and confused. From that frustrating experience emerged the strong desire to give my community the same high-quality treatment I was lucky enough to receive while growing up. Over the next few years I completed the prerequisite coursework, and excelled from motivation and resolve. But spring of 2012 proved challenging. My father – the man I admired, illustrious in my hometown for over 30 years of service as a family practitioner – passed away. I was beyond devastated. I did not know how to cope and withdrew for the semester. After his death, I began to question multiple aspects of my life. Originally, I convinced myself that I wanted to emulate him and become a physician, but I later realized what I needed was to find a different outlet: One that focused on treating the patient as a whole person. One that balanced science with humanity. One that offered a practical, direct path to honing the skills necessary to provide comprehensive care to generations of families. PA school was clearly the best option for me. My dedication solidified once I realized that this career choice truly encompasses the culmination of my life experiences. I know what it is like to find it impossible to land a job, or live paycheck to paycheck - struggles which endowed me with the maturity and adaptability required to endure the challenges of a rigorous PA program. As a volunteer for Rape Crisis Services, I learned how to use my compassion to be there when helping a survivor waiting in the ER. Working as a CNA, I tested my versatility when discovering other ways to provide comfort besides the usual tasks of bathing and feeding. For instance, by playing BB King and encouraging one patient to sing along, I could often diminish his combative behavior and verbal outbursts. Finally, from shadowing a PA I observed what a patient-centered approach to healthcare truly looks like. It is taking that extra time to swaddle and hold a crying infant to calm him down during a routine check-up. It is advising families on natural, healthy alternatives when expensive medication is not necessarily required. It is possessing the skills and knowledge to be able to make the rounds autonomously in clinic, but humble enough to call other physicians to get a second opinion when cases are particularly perplexing. I have enjoyed shadowing PAs, and I look forward to gathering more experience to see the other ways that they exemplify a patient-centered approach to healthcare. At the time of that fateful public clinic visit I felt that medicine has mysteriously chosen me. Inspired by the legacy that my father had left, I realize that I am ready to use my own means to make that type of impact and connection with people. Through my years of studying, volunteering, and working as a CNA, I have clearly and repeatedly that reaffirm my dedication to medicine. Now, with my recent experience shadowing and interacting with PAs, I have found my specific calling in medicine: to be a family practice PA and provide quality healthcare for many generations to come.
  21. This is not complete. I'm stuck and would appreciate some direction. Please feel free to give whatever feed back you may have. I know I should have a lot coming! I feel like I have a good start, but I'm not sure where to go from there. Thanks for reading! (X's used to maintain anonymity) I excitedly wheeled my lab cart through the hospital wards; anxiously anticipating what my future as a medical professional would entail. “Would patients like me? What if I hurt them? I hope I can answer all of their questions,” I thought to myself. As I approached a patient room, I had to refocus my attention. Having just been hired to the department, this was going to be my very first blood draw. Up until this point I had only completed venipunctures under the supervision of a trainer. I had studied, practiced, and been tested on proper techniques and procedures. I was confident; however first times for anything no matter how prepared can cause some nervousness. I knocked on the door and walked in. “Hi, my name is X. I’m from the lab,” I announced with a smile. “I’m here to take care of your blood draw today.” “Oh great, the vampire is here,” the patient replied. “Why do we have to do this AGAIN? I hate this, and I FEEL LIKE A PINCUSHION IN THIS HOSPITAL!” I acknowledged their frustrations and did my best to put them at ease. “I know these aren’t any fun, and I’m not sure why you are scheduled to have another draw. I can check and see if your lab results are still necessary?” “Well, okay fine.” After checking and confirming with the nurses station that they were indeed waiting on lab results to move forward with the patient’s treatment, I returned to the patient. I gently explained what I had learned from the nurses. With the patient now a bit more willing, I applied the tourniquet, found the vein, and cleansed the site. After removing the safety sheath, I steadily pressed the needle into the vein and drew back. Drawing blood as a new phlebotomist was definitely trying. I had fun quickly adapting to the fast pace, drawing difficult veins, catching incorrect orders, and the long hours on my feet. Now, what I enjoy most is the interactions I have with patients. I like to measure my accomplishments not on the number of draws I do, but on my ability to earn the trust of patients and their families. However as a phlebotomist, while I do provide an important service for patients, my role is a rather meager one. The limitations of a phlebotomist, and the limited nature of other healthcare professions, are some of my motivations for becoming a PA. Shadowing PAs has shown how expansive the scope of the profession is. Not only do PAs have a plethora of technical abilities but they also must possess the intangibles as well. From educating and developing relationships with patients and their families, to assisting in surgeries and seeing patients post-operation, I am continually inspired by the career. One PA in particular that I shadowed, “X”, exemplified the necessity of a competent and trustworthy healthcare provider. As a gastroenterology PA, “X” has the task of rounding on patients in the hospital. One patient in particular having just had a stroke, was left with the inability to swallow. When consulting with the family, “X” provided hope in a time of suffering. She empathized with the family and gained their trust while developing a relationship with them. During the consultation she was able to share her knowledge and shed light on how her specialty could assist the family with the placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. The family put their trust into “X”, and she was able to deliver. This encounter has shown me the importance of the relationship between the provider and the patient. As a high school water polo coach and an organic chemistry mentor, I too know the significance of a trusting relationship….
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