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Any suggestions are appreciated! Especially about how I should end it!

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          While I put on my isolation gown, I wondered why the Pediatric Department requested me to volunteer a few additional hours for them.  My two assigned departments included the Pediatric Diabetes Center and the Emergency Department so this was unusual.  A nurse directed me to a patient’s room that seemed to be occupied by a small six-month-old baby girl.  “Here is your patient for today.  She is a 2-year-old abused and undernourished little girl.  She cannot talk yet or stand up on her own.  Just keep her company.” 

          I was astounded that a 2-year-old was this small and fragile.  As I gently held her in my arms, she looked up at me with me with her big, beautiful, blue eyes.  Holding her in my arms was the first time I saw her look comfortable and safe.  Only two people made this tiny girl tremendously ill but an entire team was assembled to assist in her recovery.  Numerous people came into the room including physicians and their assistants, nurses, and social workers.  At this moment, I realized that the all of these people were not only helping heal this child but also advocating in her behalf, showing her compassion, and giving her a better life.  They were working as a well-collaborated team to save their patient’s lives.  This is one team that I wanted a lifetime membership to.

The hospital was my home during the roughest times of my life.  Throughout my childhood, I lived every day in fear of my own father.  Each day prior to his arrival from work, my mother and I ran through the house making certain there was not a speck of dust in sight.  If his inspection did not pass we were reminded that we were “worthless and lazy,” to put it nicely.  My life was always on the edge.  Finally, my parents divorced when I was 13 years old.  The fear never ended and the court hearings continue to this day.

          On my mother’s days off we would still visit the hospital she worked at as a pediatric nurse.  As my mother talked to the patient’s parents, I got to bond with the kids.  I eventually realized that every time I was there, they smiled and laughed as we played together.  The pain left their faces.  One girl my age became one of my best friends.    She wore my old costumes for Halloween, I brought her Happy Meals from McDonald’s and in return she provided me with friendship.  I was never told that she was dying right before my eyes. 

Eventually, she lost her fight with cystic fibrosis.  Her mother talked to me afterward, thanking me for the relief I gave her child.  This gave me motivation and ever since, I knew that I wanted to help people just like this amazing girl for the rest of my life.  The hospital is a place I know that I am not “worthless.”  The lively hospital environment draws me in and helping others get well enough to get back to doing the things they love is rewarding. 

         Since I did not have any training or certification to work at the hospital, I spent time volunteering there.  I learned other places in the hospital other than the pediatric floor.  I enjoyed the fast pace setting of the emergency department.  Typically, this department is known to come with bad news but I learned that for all of the bad news, something good comes along.  In one day, I watched someone end their life while I watched a couple bring another one into the world.  Each year, I spent hours baking delicious treats for the hospitals bake sale.  I even volunteered at the yearly telethon held by OSF St. Francis Children’s Hospital.  The medical field also is an unusual job because not only do you learn new information from your co-workers and patients but you also get to be the teacher.  My experience in the medical field as a volunteer showed me that being a physician assistant will give me the opportunity to share my compassion, care for others, and work with a medical team to solve problems to the best of my ability all while forever furthering my education. 

     My 18-year old sister, Morgan, who I am now the legal guardian of, along with my mother, has special needs.  Her disability never holds her back but others unwilling to understand Autism do.  Each day I advocate on her behalf and fight for her rights.  Morgan attends a summer camp with other children that have a variety of disabilities.  I have had the privilege of working with a diverse group of some of the most special and inspiring people in the world.  Almost all of the children, including my sister, had another problem that they often have to visit doctor’s offices and hospitals for.  My ability to understand the complexity of their conditions and believing whole-heartedly that they should be treated with respect assures me that I am ready to work with a diverse group of people when I become a physician assistant.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You're statement was captivating but I do have to agree. I felt you gave no supporting information on how you will be able to handle the rigors of an academic setting. I have no doubt that you can be compassionate to future patients based off this statement but I think you need more of a balance with the compassion and the intelligence. 

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