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Hello! I found this forum and I think it is a wonderful help. I have been working on my narrative and have had several people review it but I could use the suggestions of someone who does not know me. Thank you!

 

I am 34 years old, I have a good job and a wonderful family. Many people might wonder why I would decide to go back to school at this time in my life. The answer is simple. There is a need for health care providers in my area and I can help fill it. I work with patients on a daily basis as a certified ophthalmic technician (COT) who share with me the frustrations that they have when it comes to their health care. I have heard the story time and again about patients receiving letters that his or her provider has moved on to something bigger or better.  Sally, a diabetic patient who comes to our office on an annual basis comes to mind. Last year, when I looked at Sally’s chart I saw that we had written diabetic report letters to a variety of providers over the last several years. I asked her who she wanted us to send this year’s report to and she started crying.  I knew Sally fairly well so I took her hand and asked what was wrong. She then told me that she didn’t know who was going to read the report because her provider had changed three times since she last saw us; one of them she hadn’t even met. This was particularly disturbing to Sally because she had a complicated medical history and difficulty with blood sugar control. She confided in me that she was starting to think providers didn’t even care about their patients anymore and she was afraid she was going to die before she found someone who would know her and her medical problems well enough to treat her.

 

Sally’s dilemma is not unique.  Primary care physicians come to this area and then seem to move on after a couple of years. Physician Assistants (PAs) have started to fill the gap in health care but there are not enough of them either. Many of them stay around just long enough to gain experience and then move on as well. I live in Branson, Missouri and have worked with patients in the Ozarks for a long time. I understand that many of them are slow to trust people in the medical field but once their trust is gained, they are fiercely loyal. Nearly 20% of the population is of senior age. This age group of people have health issues and concerns but they want to go into a facility and see faces they know and trust. They want to discuss their concerns with providers who know them, not providers who just read their entire medical history in a chart five minutes prior.

 

I am not saying I can change health care, or even the health care practices in my area. What I am saying is that I know there is a need and I believe I can help. After Sally had wiped her tears, apologized for being so weepy and had her smile back in place, she kiddingly told me I should just go back to school and she would come see me for care when I was done. I smiled back and told her I wished I could do that for her. I thought about that conversation many times over the next year. It forced me to consider my current position. I have worked in the same office for nearly a decade. I know the patients and they know me. I started out as a technician knowing nothing about ophthalmology but I set myself on a course to learn all I could about the profession and excelled. During my employment I have had the opportunity to achieve two level of certifications as well as join the surgical team as a scrub tech. I have been privileged to work under a physician who encouraged me to keep moving forward and challenged me to not just gather information from tests but to consider what the results might mean to the overall health of the patient. This process made me very aware of several things. I have a great deal of respect for physicians and the training and knowledge they possess. I also crave patient interaction, like being part of a team and need to be challenged.

 

After considering my current role, it became clear to me that I am ready to move forward. My experiences and training as a COT have prepared me to better understand the role of a PA. PAs, in general, are able to spend more time with patients than a physician. They are part of a heath care team and are involved in the challenges of assessing and treating patients.  Ironically, after deciding to follow the PA path I got a close look at the PA career when another physician and his PA opened a satellite practice out of our office. The PA and his supervising physician both offered valuable advice about the day to day functions of their roles and invited me to observe their activities at length even before I was able to officially shadow them. Seeing the relationship they had and watching the team approach that was taken towards patient care validated my assessment that I would fit comfortably in the role of a PA.

 

So here I am, back in school. Staying up late and getting up early. During the last year I have been a full time employee, a full time student, a wife and a mother. Change isn’t easy, but I meant it when I told Sally I wished I could help. Maybe one day she will be able to come see me.

 

 

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I really like it.You have experience, you express that your are mature, and you're willing to push  through the challenges of being a non-traditional student. I wish you luck on your acceptance and completion of your PA studies :D.

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I really enjoyed this essay. It was straight forward, honest, and very readable. I edited it a bit, but it might just be personal preference. Really nice essay though; I'm sure you'll get interviews and be a really good PA for the Ozarks. They are lucky to have you watching our for them.


 


I am 34 years old, I have a good job and a wonderful family. Many people might wonder why I would decide to go back to school at this time in my life. The answer is simple. There is a need for health care providers in my area and I can help fill it. I work with patients on a daily basis as a certified ophthalmic technician (COT); they share with me the frustrations that they have when it comes to their health care. I have heard the story time and again about patients receiving letters that his or her provider has moved on to something bigger or better.  In particular, Sally, a diabetic patient who visits our office on an annual basis comes to mind. Last year, when I looked at her chart I saw that we had written diabetic report letters to a variety of providers over the last several years. I asked her who she wanted us to send this year’s report to and she started crying.  I knew Sally fairly well, so I took her hand and asked what was wrong. She told me that she didn’t know who was going to read the report because her provider had changed three times since she last saw us; one of them she hadn’t even met. This was particularly upsetting to her because she had a complicated medical history and difficulty with blood sugar control. She confided in me that she was starting to think providers didn’t even care about their patients anymore, and she was afraid she was going to die before she found someone who would get to know her and her medical problems well enough to treat her.


 


Sally’s dilemma is not unique.  In our quiet, humble area of 10,000 people, primary care physicians begin their practice with good intentions, but then seem to move on after a couple of years. Physician Assistants (PAs) have started to fill the gap in health care, but there are not enough of them either; many of them stay around just long enough to gain experience and then move on as well. Here in Branson, Missouri I have lived and worked with patients in the Ozarks for a long time. I understand that many of them are slow to trust people in the medical field, but once their trust is gained, they are fiercely loyal. Nearly 20% of the population are seniors, and this age group has legitimate health issues and concerns, but they want to go into a familiar facility and see faces they know and trust. They want to discuss their concerns with providers who know them, not providers who just read their entire medical history in a chart five minutes prior.


 


I am not saying I can single-handedly change  health care, or even the health care practices in my area. What I am saying is that I know there is a need and I believe I can help. After Sally had wiped her tears, apologized for being so weepy and had her smile back in place, she kiddingly told me I should just go back to school and she would come see me for care when I was done. I smiled back and told her I wished I could do that for her. I thought about that conversation many times over the next year. It forced me to consider my current position. I have worked in the same office for nearly a decade. I know the patients and they know me. I started out as a technician knowing nothing about ophthalmology but I set myself on a course to learn all I could about the profession and excelled. During my employment I have had the opportunity to achieve two level of certifications as well as join the surgical team as a scrub tech. I have been privileged to work under a physician who encouraged me to keep moving forward and challenged me to not just gather information from tests but to consider what the results might mean to the overall health of the patient. This process made me very aware of several things. I have a great deal of respect for physicians and the training and knowledge they possess. I also crave patient interaction, enjoy being part of a team, and thrive against professional challenges.


 


After considering my current role, it became clear to me that I am ready to move forward. My experiences and training as a COT have prepared me to better understand the role of a PA. PAs, in general, are able to spend more time with patients than a physician. They are part of a heath care team and are involved in the challenges of assessing and treating patients.  Ironically, after deciding to follow the PA path I got a close look at the PA career when another physician and his PA opened a satellite practice out of our office. The PA and his supervising physician both offered valuable advice about the day to day functions of their roles and invited me to observe their activities at length even before I was able to officially shadow them. Seeing the relationship they had and watching the team approach that was taken towards patient care validated my assessment that I would fit comfortably in the role of a PA.


 


So here I am, back in school. Staying up late to complete homework assignments, and rolling out of bed early to get to class. During the last year I have been a full time employee, a full time student, a wife and a mother. Change isn’t easy, but I am up for the challenge, and I am confident with my family's support I will excel as a PA. Besides, I meant it when I told Sally I wished I could help, and I look forward to the day that I will get to exemplify that there are healthcare providers that are loyal, dependable, and truly care about the patients in their community.


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