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CASPA narrative. Would you offer a fresh set of eyes to look at it and offer advice?

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I am new to this forum, and I am looking for some feedback if possible. Please feel free to comment without reservations. Thanks!!



People from other countries do not consider them real doctors, yet the natives consider them heroes. At least that is what every parent thought about a person who could prevent their children from suffering diseases, like the one Gustavo suffered. He was unable to play soccer with the rest of us, because he was on special crutches. His parents told him it was because he never received the polio vaccine. Even though they can be available for free, immunizations are considered a commodity in Mexico, and parents eagerly await school health fairs. I look up to people that, regardless of whether or not the public understands their profession, remain dedicated to providing affordable medical care in areas of need. There are many pathways for people having a desire to help others, but my desire focused on healthcare after living in Mexico as a child. Now, I want to become a Physician Assistant (PA), but this decision came as a result of a growing and discovery process. I will explain how I took my first steps towards healthcare; my exposure to the role of the PA profession; and the development of my conviction to become a PA.



I became a mother when I was 18, but my desire to work in the healthcare field did not change. I quickly discovered how difficult it was to provide for a baby and go to school at the same time, so I decided to join the Army. The only reservations I had about healthcare, was a fear of how I would react to certain situations and sights, such as death. Starting out as a hospital cook seemed like a great place to start. The patient encounters during my 3 years as a hospital cook gave me reassurance and enough confidence to take on a more hands-on role. My newfound confidence would soon be tested as I embraced the opportunity to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It was the first night of my preceptorship in the Intensive Carer Unit when my patient passed away within only a few hours of the start of my shift. Surprisingly, my reaction was better than expected. Although it was a unforgettably sad experience, I was able to perform all my duties gracefully, including post-mortem care. Becoming a LPN gave me the opportunity for personal and professional growth, as well as exposure to the amazing PA profession.



Physician Assistants are an important factor in making healthcare accessible to populations that are in dire need, populations that are fortunate to have any healthcare at all. The PA culture reminded me of the medical professionals I knew as a child. Despite progress in public awareness about the PA profession, there still seems to be some controversy on how the public views them. Regardless of this, they strive to provide quality medical care that is affordable to all. They are indispensable to the patients and the communities they serve. For instance, Army Physician Assistants develop a trusting relationship with the troops, which is extremely important in order for the troops to come forward with their medical concerns. This in turn, allows the troops to remain combat-ready and increases troop morale. All of which contribute to the safe return of our troops when deployed. Upon my discovery of the PA profession, I quickly developed a deep respect and admiration for the work they do.



One particular PA was very understanding of the fragile 8 year old boy that cried uncontrollably, refusing to have his testes examined. She could have given up after 10 minutes of dealing with this hysterical child because she had other patients to see, the way other providers had been doing for over 5 years. Instead, she invested over 45 minutes trying to gain Alex's trust. She succeeded, but his right testicle was not palpable. It was later found to be in the abdomen via ultrasound. It was with patience and determination that she was able to discover an abnormality that led to a much needed surgery, that fortunately took place before puberty. Although he is still at a higher risk for testicular cancer compared to other males, his personal risk has now been slightly reduced. She displayed the qualities I admire about the profession, and set the example that I aspire to emulate. My son and I will forever be grateful for the work ethic, compassion, and dedication displayed by his Physician Assistant.



My desire to become a PA was indeed the result of a growing and discovery process. I was a child when the seed that would one day grow to be my goal to pursue a career as a PA was planted. I was a young healthcare professional when that seed was watered with confidence. Not long after that, a seedling that contained my understanding of the Physician Assistant's role emerged. Nurtured by a personal gratitude for the dedication of these professionals, the seedling grew into the plant that now represents my conviction to become a Physician Assistant. All of which take me back to my roots, a way to provide affordable medical care in areas of need, especially via prevention and education.






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