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Often times we sit back and reflect on what things in life have had the most significant impact on our character? How did we react to these situations and how did they change our lives? Did we proceed, continuing our attempt to achieve success, or did we just give up, and let these circumstances take over? These defining moments turn us into who we are and what we are meant to become. For me, that situation occurred when I least expected.

                My day began just as any other day. I recall it was a rather brisk day, as it was just a couple of weeks into my freshman year in college. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred…that is until I had gotten the phone call that changed my life. “Come home as soon as you can.” My only reply, “I’ll be right there.” As I left campus I was both worried and lost because those words were the entirety of the conversation. It was left at that. I didn’t know the specifics of what was going on nor would they be explained to me. My mind was all over the map wondering what had happened. As I approached my house I soon saw my mother outside with bags upon the curb. Still unsure, I walked closer, and at that point I realized it was gone. Things from that moment on would never be the same… I was homeless.

                I remember sitting there, lost, with nothing but a bag and my car. The car would be my home now. My life had taken an unexpected turn. A turn I would never think possible. This would cause me to begin searching for work… and unfortunately placing my education on the back burner. Not knowing where you would lay your head is not the most pleasant of situations. I stopped attending school not because I wanted to but because I had to. I had to work in order to afford a place to live. I had no working experience and probably no skills that would make me a good candidate for employment. I truly felt lost… my negative would soon become a positive however.

                I began working in working at a local hospital as a phlebotomist. There since 2003, the position allowed me to get experience in the hospital setting as well as allowing me to begin developing skills that would serve a purpose in other aspects of life and in my future endeavors. I was also able to return to school years later to pursue my degree, which had eluded me just a few years ago. By being a phlebotomist I developed skills in customer service and a bedside manner. It is unpleasant to be awakened all hours of the night and be bothered with needles multiple times. Patients tend to upset and not always cooperative, so it definitely makes a person develop skills that are useful in many situations. I have dealt with patients of all ages from infant to geriatric. Over the years relationships with patients have grown and so too has the yearning for doing more. Each interaction that I have had with the patients has brought about a new experience and a new story that has been shared with me. These interactions with people, who were once strangers, and are now a part of my everyday life are the main reasons why I have chosen to pursue a career as a physician assistant. I enjoy the relationships that can grow and becoming a physician assistant would give me the opportunity to develop them over lasting periods of time. I can be a part of their healthcare and they can be a part of my everyday life. We will both have stories to share. We can laugh, smile, and even cry together but the relationship would be something that couldn’t be replaced.

                I also find the flexibility of the physician assistant beneficial. The thought of working in emergency medicine one day and pediatrics the next is something I find exciting. It ensures that no one day will be exactly the same. Being able to switch between specialties without any additional training is an aspect that I am intrigued by. Every day would bring about a challenge that I would be willing to take on. These are all appealing as a single father. An ability to change and flexible schedule would allow me to not only provide care to patients but also allow me to spend time with my children, giving me an optimal work-family balance that most strive for. Additionally, I work well with others so being part of a team is more suitable to me and my personality.

                I’ve worked in the healthcare field for a substantial amount of years and I’m a firm believer that nothing can be more beneficial than experience. Hands on experience will go a long way towards success. These experiences have led me to this point, the point where I play a larger role in the care of patients. I’m at the point where I hope to have an opportunity to become a physician assistant.  

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