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My 3rd draft of my PA Essay

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I'm right against it as far as the character limit, doubled spacing after each new sentence is a killer. Is a Title to the Essay necessary? I've see some examples without a title. Dumb question I know, can't hurt to ask. Here's my essay, any and all advice, criticism, and comments are most welcomed. Thanks very much for reading!


A Monumental Decision

                A large majority of college-aged people have difficulty deciding what they want to do with the rest of their life.  My father suggested I try to enroll into physician assistant programs when applying for college. Unfortunately, like many kids, I did not listen to him.  All I knew was that the curriculum was daunting, challenging, and I honestly did not know if I would like it.  It has taken years of personal experience seeing loved ones as patients and providing great patient care to realize that I can do more to provide compassionate quality medical care.


                One fall weekend my parents had requested my brother and I come home for a dinner.  My father informed us that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  We instantly feared the worst, and after endless questions and discussion, prepared for the worst.  On the day of surgery, his medical care was phenomenal across the board.  His doctors and nurses tended to every question and concern and made sure he was more than comfortable as he began to recover.  Today he’s doing fantastic and I’m forever grateful for the incredible care he received.  It was the inspiration that sparked my interest in a career in healthcare.


                I enrolled in a physical therapist assistant (PTA) program full time while working part time at a private outpatient physical therapy facility shortly after college.  Through hard work and determination, I maintained good grades, graduated and passed my licensing exam.  I interviewed for several positions and realized that, in order to truly test myself, I could not continue to work in the outpatient field.  After much deliberation, I accepted a position at Faulkner Hospital as an inpatient PTA and continue to work there today.  I work on the orthopedic and medical/surgical floors.  Every day is a new experience, an opportunity to learn and a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.  In the past year, I had the privilege of treating one of the strongest women I have ever met.  She made me realize I can and should pursue a career as a physician assistant in order to have a larger role in patient care.


              N.M. was a lovely 78-year-old woman who was first admitted to the hospital for extensive abdominal surgery involving gastroenterological and urinary systems.  I had the pleasure of working with her almost every day.  We had a great rapport and would make small talk before starting her PT session. She always gave her best effort, regardless of severe abdominal pain and nausea.  However, time began to take its toll on her.  The longer she stayed in the hospital, the more depressed she became and began refusing to participate in PT.  I continued to see her almost every day. She started to become confused and agitated at times, even pulling out her nasogastric tube at one point.  Her confusion and agitation resolved with medication; however, her depression grew, often confessing she just wanted to give up.  She stopped eating because she wasn’t able to tolerate ingesting food.  It seemed nothing was working and she slowly began to decline.  I often wondered if she was beyond my help.


              I had an idea one day while I was working at a skilled nursing facility. The facility encouraged PT sessions outside, especially on beautiful spring days.  I decided I was going to try and do the same with N.M. I made a request to her PA. Her PA placed the order almost immediately and we were outside within moments.  We didn’t do much exercise; instead, I let her relax in the warm sun, listen to the birds chirp and feel the soft breeze through her hair.  It was amazing to see the smile on her face as she closed her eyes and soaked in the sun.  We sat outside for about 20 minutes before she became cold and asked to return to her room.  She thanked me a dozen times as we went back to her room.  As time passed, we continued to go outside for her PT session.  She slowly began to improve.  N.M began walking again and became stabilized enough to transfer to a skilled nursing facility which, coincidentally, happened to be the same facility I worked at over the weekends.  I would visit her after every shift on the weekend and converse with her as if we had seen each other the day before.  N.M. finally left the SNF just short of a year between rehab and hospitalization.  She is currently doing well and residing with her children in Cape Cod.


            It’s true that being 18 years old and deciding what to do for the rest of your life is a monumental decision.  However, after 31 years and hundreds of patientcare experiences and life lessons later, I can honestly say for the first time what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I want to continue a lifetime of learning and research to benefit others.  I want to be the practitioner that patients prefer to see over the doctor because of a great sense of empathy and bedside manner.  I want more responsibility and autonomy to play a critical role in a patient’s overall welfare and I want the privilege and honor to be a physician assistant. 

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