2full2eat Posted April 21, 2013 Share Posted April 21, 2013 Since I began working in healthcare, I have never worked a day in my life because of my passion for patient care. After meeting Wanda, a morbidly obese former drug user who sought my help to walk again I thought I was hooked on my dream to work in healthcare as a Physical Therapist (PT). My patient Wanda and I grew a close professional relationship at the nursing home she lived in. Every day we worked toward her goal of walking on her own again, the closer we got to her goal the happier we both were. Until Wanda suddenly developed pneumonia and of course our training together had to stop for the time being. I continued working with my other patients, checking on Wanda after each day but she was not getting any better. Coming to work that day when my patients told me how Wanda was transferred to the hospital across the street and died was devastating to me. Feeling that the whole time I could have been helping her changed everything for me and ever since then I have been dedicating my time, and studies toward becoming a Physician Assistant (PA). Today I work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) where working with terminally ill cancer patients daily is part of my responsibility as a Rehabilitation Assistant. My first few weeks working in this Hospital were eye opening and showed me without a doubt that I could handle the emotions, the rigors, and the expectations of the healthcare field. After weeks of on the job training, I began working on my own with a multitude of Physical and Occupational Therapists. After working with Sal, one of my first patients at MSKCC, for over a month, I watched his progression from non-ambulating to being completely independent and walking on his own. It brought a lot of satisfaction to me to see him doing better and to help Sal with small amenities - like getting him a warm blanket. I could see in his eyes the appreciation when he thanked me and it brought a smile to my face to see him happy, as any other patient does. However, one day I could not help Sal feel better. He grabbed me by the hand and with trust that I could help him told me “Something is wrong, I do not feel right today!” I communicated his words to my supervising PT who passed it on to Sal’s Nurse. Later that day Sal suffered from a clot that caused a pulmonary embolism. Days after his transfer to the Intensive Care Unit, Sal died. I often wonder if I had the medical knowledge and skill set PAs possess, would I have been able to do something in time to save Sal’s life. Today, after 8 months of experience as a RA and seeing Mike, a 54 year old Myeloid Leukemia patient who struggles everyday to stand and walk on his own for 16 weeks. I stood by him and helped him preserver everyday with his battle against this disease. Mike is an incredible patient who I look up to because of his incredible will and positivity. Mike’s eyes are often glassy, he has difficulty speaking clearly from exhaustion, and has black and blues all over his body because of his low platelet count. Mike has been living in the hospital for over 6 months because his team of doctors are having difficulty figuring out why Mike has thrombocytopenia. I wish everyday that I could be involved in his treatment doing everything I could to help Mike feel better. As a PA I could be part of his medical team, working together to develop a plan of care that will make Mike better and allow him to go back home to his family. Once deciding to become a PA I make sure to shadow PAs in multiple settings whenever granted the opportunity. One particular setting was the operating room, where I observed a PA with a surgical team perform a bilateral mastectomy, while a team of plastic surgeons concurrently began deep inferior epigastric perforator flap breast reconstruction. It was a very exciting experience to witness the skill and team work exhibited by the PA. As new leaders in the health profession, it is my belief that PA students must be able to treat the patient as a person, and not as a textbook example. I am reminded of this each day I return to work at MSKCC. After teaching cancer amputees to walk again, helping children through their every day living exercises, and more, I find that this is where I belong. Our patients have thanked my rehabilitation team and I so unconditionally for our help that it has brought me to tears. Before I found my niche in healthcare I felt lost in my life. Today I can say with confidence that I found my destiny in life and can easily view myself as a model PA. My only hope is that after reading this, meeting with me, and learning about who I am and what I have to offer your program, you can too. There is nothing in the last few years of my life I have worked harder for, and will continue to do so until I can finally walk into a patient room saying, “Hello, my name is Keith Aiello, and I am your Physician Assistant.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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