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Finally, Actual Final Personal Statement. Please help me. :)

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My story begins with a woman named Luz. She is a mother of three, who had to endure the tragic loss of her husband. She became the sole provider for her three children, working two jobs and sacrificing her own advancements to assure her children's food, shelter, and security. She was never able to learn English, yet she had provided a life so that her children could. They were given the opportunity to become bilingual, and they did. One of those children is me.

As a teenager, my mother began having recurrent discomfort in her abdomen. She would frequently go to the doctor’s office but all the doctors only spoke English. In order to receive proper treatment, she required a translator to sit in with her at the appointments. Oftentimes, that was me. This is how I was first introduced to the medical field. It wasn’t long before I began to show interest in the medical field. Being such a hard working woman, my mother deserved the best care possible but I began to see firsthand that that was not always possible because of the language barrier. Clinic after clinic, my mother decided to attend the Good Samaritan Clinic. Here she met a physician assistant that demonstrated great interest to help her feel better. She performed multiple exams to diagnose and to treat my mom. The physician assistant was able to provide a possible remedy to alleviate the discomfort my mother had felt for so long. She made herself available to my mom and I, recommended specialist, and explained everything that we did not understand. The care, sincerity, and determination the PA had towards my mother became the spark to a driving force in my interest to become a PA.

Years later, when I made the decision to go to college I became a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to help support my mother and family. As a CNA I landed a job in a skilled nursing rehabilitation facility. During my time here, I encountered a wide variety of patients. Some just had surgery while others had experienced traumatic accidents. I met one patient named Martha who had been at the facility for weeks and did not speak English. She only spoke Spanish. She had been trying to tell a nurse that there was something wrong with her but the only way she could communicate was by gesturing and pointing to the area of pain. I was called over by the nurse to assist in translating and I was able to effectively communicate exactly what was ailing her. She had been very thankful for my ability to translate for her, and I still remember how she offered me some of the candy from her room as a sign of her gratitude. I continued to check in on her periodically to ensure her needs were continuing to be met, and helping with her activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding, and dressing. I wanted to make sure she felt comfortable and safe. I then later noticed she had gained a more positive outlook on the facility, her treatment, and the future quality of her life.

Alongside working with Martha I had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients, and this experience taught me that every individual has unique needs and effort needs to be put into understanding those needs. While working alongside nurses and physicians I was able to see how teamwork is in order to provide the best care. This experience taught me skills that I could not have possibly learned in a classroom, such as accountability, leadership, work ethic, and integrity. During my undergraduate career and since the time I graduated I have continued to explore the medical field learning as much as I can. Through shadowing, volunteering, and working as a CNA and a Physical Therapy technician I have learned how essential teamwork, compassion, accurate note taking, and effective communication are for patient care.

Being a first generation student in my family to go to college I struggled with balancing work and classes due to the lack of proper guidance, during this journey there were times when I did not perform well in classes or I had to drop a course in order to continue to help provide around the house. I quickly learned what having too much on my plate meant.  

Throughout my lifetime, I have seen time and time again a lack of Spanish speaking healthcare providers for an ever-diverse population that requires more bilingual opportunities. As a bilingual person, I have a unique opportunity to improve the healthcare experience for many people and I would like the opportunity to continue to grow in this industry and to bridge the gap between the language barrier in order to provide better care and to understand their needs and wants. With my passion to continue to learn, the desire to help underserved populations, and the skill set I will gain a PA program, I am most certain that I will have the tools needed to be a valued member in the medical field.  I will always remember that one person who helped my mother and I am striving to be that one person for others, because everyone deserves an equal opportunity to be healthy and to live happily.

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