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Narrative-thoughts, feelings, etc.

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The ability of healthcare providers to connect and effectively interact with people is becoming a lost art, and as a front line laboratory professional I was introduced to the triumphs, challenges, and heartache that come with a healthcare career. However, as a result, I was able to develop the ability to relate to, communicate with, and set people at ease while I performed an often stressful procedure. These interactions and relationships are what drew me to the Physician Assistant (PA) profession.

In spite of the almost universal loathe of needle carting lab personal, my job as a phlebotomist led me to meet and develop a meaningful relationship with Anna. She was a seven year old girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She had large stunning eyes that did not tell the tale of disease, pain, or suffering but instead innocence and hope.  She was the child of a single mother, and they were “regulars” on my Saturday morning phlebotomy schedule.  Through professionalism, talent to connect with a seven year old girl, and competency at the task I was performing, a relationship of trust was instantly created. The professionalism, set Anna’s mother at ease, and it was often evident that this diagnosis took its toll on her just as much as her daughter. Anna thought I was silly, and failed to notice anything I did because I constantly engaged her as I prepared my supplies. Before she knew it even began, it was over and I had the sample I needed. This was the simple beginning of meaningful care relationship that lasted the next six months. Despite the anguish of seeing a young child battling cancer, Anna was an inspiration and directed me toward a life of service in healthcare.

I have always valued service work, and have endeavored to make an impact. My summers were spent working with children teaching them baseball, while they taught me patience. In high school I began to volunteer at a local hospital greeting and escorting patients. This developed, at an early age, the ability to communicate with people of all ages and backgrounds. Now as a working professional I have been able to give back by working with kids from a variety of backgrounds, serving as a mentor, role model, academic coach, and friend.

My career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) has provided a deep love affair for the scientific basis of disease. I distinguished myself from my laboratory colleagues through hard work, decisive decision making, multitasking, and expletory customer service skills.  These attributes were factors that earned my promotion into my Technical Specialist role at Mayo Clinic. I daily diagnose and troubleshoot instrumentation, provide leadership and direction for staff, and serve as a resource for providers and nursing regarding the complex testing we perform. I lead by example and excel at the challenge of working with complex instrumentation and feel these skills in troubleshooting and diagnosing problems will equate to accurate and decisive clinical decision making.

While shadowing an acute inpatient Psychiatric PA, I gained insight to the varied opportunities that are available for PAs and how vastly different their daily routine was from an Emergency Department PA. The interactions I observed were extremely collaborative, grounded, and generally different then many I have seen and experienced with Physicians. The interaction was inspiring, and solidified my interest in PA profession.

As a PA, I am going to have to demonstrate professionalism, competency, and large knowledgebase all while effectively developing care relationships built on trust, compassion, and empathy.  The capacity to communicate and connect with people will be the foundation to developing meaning relationships that bring quality care to the patient, and a career full of meaning, direction, satisfaction to my life.


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