PA1325 Posted July 20, 2014 Share Posted July 20, 2014 Hello Everyone! I'm currently traveling in Veitnam trying to finish my personal statement for PA school. Would anyone be interested in reviewing it? I would greatly appreciate any feedback or criticism you could provide. I can't attach it properly on this computer so I just pasted it below, ignore the formatting. Thank you! As I sit here reflecting on my past while looking out upon the vast Mekong River in Laos, I feel grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. It’s strange to think that where I am now and my future goal to become a physician assistant (PA) is significantly owed to a deadly disease and the woman who it afflicted. My mother’s nursing career sparked my interest in biology and medicine early on. Sheinfluenced me to pursue an occupation in health care. Double majoring in biomedical scienceand psychology led me to complete extensive coursework and research that strengthened mydesire for a career in medicine. My past volunteer experiences have provided me great insighton the importance of the personal side of dealing with hardships. This life-long interest andpursuit of biological and medical knowledge has guided me toward my decision to become a PA.However, who gave me my true passion to become a PA was a woman named Kris. Kris was a 47 year old woman who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. AfterI graduated from university I became her caregiver and assumed responsible for many aspectsof her life. At the time I was unprepared for the journey that I set out on. However, I becamecommitted and determined to give her the best life that she could have. Taking care of Krissolidified my calling to become a PA.Initially, I helped with daily life activities, such as administering medicine, cooking meals, andcleaning Kris’s home. Scheduling and accompanying her to countless doctors’ appointmentsbecame routine. During her appointments I felt comfortable in a hospital setting communicatingwith doctors as I had spent hundreds of hours volunteering at Borgess Medical Center. Whilethere I had learned the importance of working together with all of the staff to provide patientswith the best possible care.Overtime, my responsibilities increased as Kris's condition changed and she lost certain abilities.Kris was a woman who valued her appearance. Every day I bathed her. Then I styled her hairand applied her makeup she would continue to feel pride in her appearance. I often painted hernails and even helped her shave her legs. These small acts were crucial in helping Kris feelmore like herself and to keep her spirits high. One day, I could hear her aggravated complaintscoming from her bedroom. As I opened the door, I found Kris had dressed successfully excepther underwear were on top of her jeans. We both started laughing. Suddenly her mood changedand she sat down on her bed. She was so frustrated she began to cry. When I sat down and heldher to comfort her, she asked me “Why is this happening to me?” At times like these, I wouldsometimes cry too because I had no answer. When situations like these became more frequent Ilearned strategies to help her cope, and ways to change her tears into laughter.Kris and I shared a strong bond, and I became her closest companion. As her speech abilitiesdeclined, we communicated in our own ways. Witnessing her mind deteriorating was anemotional and extremely difficult process for me. I understood that our time together waslimited, and continued to be there for Kris, regardless of how challenging the circumstance.At a meeting with her neurologist, we were informed Kris would need twenty-four hour care.Following the appointment and communicating with her family, assisted living was decidedupon and I recognized that my time as Kris’s caregiver had come to an end. About a year laterKris passed away.I had no idea how much I would learn and grow from that rewarding yet heartbreaking period ofmy life. As Kris’s caregiver I discovered what it means to be truly compassionate. Witnessingher life fading inspired me to make the most of my own. Kris gave me the courage to act on mystrong aspiration to travel, explore new places, and to meet new people. For the last three yearsI have been teaching English in Taiwan and traveling throughout Asia. The decision to moveacross the world was intimidating but ultimately one of the best and most gratifying choices Ihave ever made.Educating students of all ages has taught me many skills that will aid me as a PA. To be aneffective teacher one must ignite a person’s desire to learn and have the ability to adapt toindividual learning styles. I’ve learned how to communicate effectively using a variety ofmethods. Above all I’ve mastered patience, understanding, and empathy required in teaching.Teaching is essential in the medical field that is always evolving. Physician assistants need toeducate and communicate with doctors, other PAs and health care staff. Most importantly I willneed to know how to instruct patients and communicate well with them.Living abroad and traveling I’ve developed efficient problem solving skills. In each of the tencountries I traveled in throughout Asia, I absorbed the culture and grew from the diversity.During these adventures my perspective of the world broadened and I’ve even learned aboutother health care systems. I’m excited to use what I have learned from teaching and travelingto become a more skilled PA in the future. Kris helped me to realize life is about relationships,diverse experiences and gaining new perspectives. Now my strongest desire is to use my pastexperiences to become the best PA I can be. I’m ready to start my career in medicine. 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