LaBombera Posted June 1, 2012 Share Posted June 1, 2012 Ok, I've completed the re-write after L.A.Lewis' great comments on my first draft (thank you!). It still needs to be chopped by about 100 words- need advise on what to cut out. Thanks for your time! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Sir Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” The truth of these words often have been called upon during my most challenging times. In 2009 and 2010 the opportunities presented themselves to travel with a volunteer medical/dental team to Guatemala to participate in a medical relief project. There I underwent a transformation. Over 1000 patients from the rural villages visited our temporary clinic; many with chronic multiple ailments. The days were long and the temperatures sweltering but we never turned a patient away. The energy to continue working gets recharged from a deep place within our psyche where compassion resides. My initial tasks, in addition to translation, were to collect patient name, vitals and pass them on to the doctors; but as the clinic became more hectic with patients it was clear that I could do more. My EMT skills came out quickly to triage the patients and perform more in-depth initial assessments which increased our efficiency. The day the lead physician asked me “have you ever considered a career as a PA?” was the day that changed my life, and it was the beginning of a relentless quest towards the goal of becoming a physician assistant. Having now thoroughly explored the career, researched the school programs, completed the prerequisite classes, explored the employment options, and gained valuable knowledge from my PA job shadows it is clear to me that this is the career I desire for the rest of my life. Being on duty at a fire station one never knows when the next call might come. Some nights are more difficult than others to jump out of bed at 2:00am, but adrenaline always kicks in on the way to the aid car. No matter what the time, date, weather condition, or level of weariness something happens immediately upon arriving at the patient: a surge of energy and a conviction takes over that says: “you will do everything you can to make this person’s worst nightmare better”. Of course not every call ends with a positive outcome, but each one teaches the value of life. CPR and trauma calls are often straight forward; we train our skills constantly. However, nothing is as truly challenging as the elderly woman complaining of multiple vague symptoms, or the panic attack of a schizophrenic suicidal teen, or the presumed intoxicated man about to be arrested until his blood glucose is checked revealing a diabetic emergency. These are the calls that put my best skills to test; these are the patients that receive my call the next day; these are the events that make me feel useful in this world. Patient care has always been the most intriguing aspect of being a part-time EMT/firefighter. As we enter people’s homes and quickly make assessments while providing comfort and reassurance is a special trust the public gives us that is inspirational; but so often I wish we could do more for our patients: more treatment options, more diagnostic tools, more pain control. As an EMT our patient contact ends when we transfer care to the emergency room staff. Seldom do we get to satisfy our curiosity if we gave the right treatment for our patients, or if we missed anything, did they survive, and how are they now? As a PA these would be my patients to follow through in their care and guide towards their recovery and continued health maintenance. This sense of satisfaction has no comparison, and it is what motivates me to seek this new challenge into a career as a PA. In addition to the part-time fire department duty, my fulltime career for the past 20 years has been working in the fisheries sciences. From a commercial salmon seiner on 65’ wooden boats to a federal fisheries science observer aboard large trawling vessels, and currently as a research biologist with NOAA one aspect runs common among all these jobs: teamwork. All coworkers are not as agreeable as others, but everyone’s lives depend on each other when on a boat; you quickly learn ways to get along and work together to accomplish the tasks. These skills are vital in all aspects of life, especially in high stress emotional environments such as a medical facility where many people need urgent care. All these experiences have focused my career path to choosing physician assisting which would offer all these challenges and more: the unique patients, the unexpected emergencies, the teamwork environment between the doctors, nurses, and other PAs all contributing together for the ultimate goal of health care for our communities. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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