Laying in a stretcher opposite the nurses station to me an elderly woman conversed family pastimes with what I assumed to be her invisible friend. Being that I was no older than six at the time natural inquisitiveness got the best of me. I stood on top of the round top of the stool my mother insisted I remain on until she retrieved her work papers. Sutble movements were key, I relocated my bottom on the countertop, brought my feet up and rotated a hundred and eighty degrees. “Who are you talking to miss”? I asked, as if sitting indian style with my cheeks proped up in my hands, leaving all of five inches between our faces wasn’t intrusive enough. Quickly her eyes locked onto mine “Tell Ann, that Johnny forgot to take me to the doctors, will ya Sue”? Her voice was high pitched and she crackled in an old lady way , her hands were shaky and it took her a while but eventually she grasped my little hand. “Are you the angel he is sending me, where do we go”? Her lips curled into a grin so big it made more wrinkles on her face than I thought possible. This made me giggle “You’re a crazy old lady”, she giggled back. I knew she was crazy, it interested me to hear what she would come up with next. I found myself wanting to know everything in her thoughts. I don’t recall the duration of our little chat but I had asked her everything my little mind could conjure up I was completley engrossed in what she said and why her brain was not regular like mine was. Next thing I knew I was snatched from the top of the nurses station and in a boat load of trouble with my mother. She was yelling at me, carrying me sideways under one arm, I could still see the crazy lady. I smiled and waved goodbye, she returned the gesture. I recall thinking about that woman for quite sometime, I asked my mom a ton of questions too. Mother said she had dementia and that sometimes happens when your brain is old, parts of it breaks down, just how my fathers old junkie car did earlier that year. It made me sad when she told me brain parts can’t be replaced like car parts. I asked why and gave examples and what if situations until I was blue in the face and my mother was at her whits end. I consider this memory a milestone in my life, from that point on I knew when I grew up I’d find a way to be a mechanic that fixed people.
Children believe that whatever they can dream up, they can make happen. As we grow older we become jaded and convince ourselves that our big dreams can’t possibly fit into our current reality. A year after the incident with the elderly demensia patient my parents seperated. I lost most contact with my father and my mother became an alcoholic. My teenage years were rough, I had a home, but then again It never felt that way. I ran away at thirteen and fourteen, at fifteen I picked up smoking and hanging on the city street corners drinking beers with other little street kids. With average at best grades I made it through high school, I received no awards at my graduation, just the troublemaker lable. After high school I found a decent job and bought myself a car. I was doing ok until one day my mother was in a bad mood and decided to slash my tire. I was unable to get to work and lost my job. I went to a guys house I had met a week before, after staying there a few nights word got to me that my mom had sold my car I bought, I decided to live with my new “boyfriend”. A year went by, he had a drug problem, and a baby with a girl who wanted to do nothing but hurt me physically. I made up my mind I had to get some sort of work and get out of there fast. I signed myself up for medical assistant schooling, and graduated with honors. I made peace with my mother and moved back home. Fast forward two years and that brings us to today. Currently I work full time in an Emergency Room, infact it is the same emergency room where I had my encounter with the elderly woman. I finally am stable in my life, living still in my mothers home, I just learned how to keep quiet and avoid unwanted squarrels. The Emergency Room is where I spend most of my time, and when I am home I do art work, and study medical textbooks. I am so infatuated with the systems of the human body and there functions. Sometimes, I will read for hours on end about a specific disease a patient I worked on or talked to in the E.R. was diagnosed with. I want to know everything there is to know about the fine tuned machiene we refer to as our bodies. Whenever I get free time at work I am asking the Physicians Assistant questions, and fortunatly for me I happen to work with a very nice one. She explains to me the History and Physical charts she writes up, and also explains why she has made a certain diagnoses and the proper treatment. I preform EKG on the patients but I practice my assesments on them in my head. Ill visualize the genral apperence skin color and texture, check for edema or open wounds, eyes pupils and jaundice, glaucoma, any injury and clarity nose mouth ect. I will sometime ask questions acting as if I am just curious to know, then from there I will decide what kind if any test I would order. I follow up until the results of all ED test come back I have taught myself the levels in our basic blood draw panel, and also hepatic function troponin, BAC and amonia levels. I have learned to read monitor strips, however EKGs are a bit complex, I still feel I can judge the good from the bad though. Radiology reports I cheat because I have no idea what I am looking at, I never spent a lot of time reading about it, at least not yet. After I see everything I make my guess on weather or not the will be admitted, and If they were, what would be the admitting diagnosis and futher treatment. I write this all down on a piece of paper and at the end of my shift I will see how many were similar to the Physician assistants history and physical chart and tests orderd. It’s my favorite game I play to test myself. I have also spent time in our fast track section of the ED. In our department a nurse practisioner runs the fast track however I will assist her in splinting and suturing patients, so I can at least see what to do and different ways of suturing depending on wound depth and size.
Although, without a degree I am unauthorized to do any of the above, I still love my job more than anything in the world. I may not be able to do much invasive procedures, however it is just as rewarding if not sometimes more to bond with your patient. Injuries arent always visiable to the naked eye. I am unable to give any sort of medical advice to a patient, never the less I will provide a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and an ear to listen to whatever it is they want to talk about. I feel that there are far to many people in healthcare that focus primarily on the procedure or tests at hand, without even asking the patient if they are comfortable, or caring if they for that matter. Our department though may make me a bit biased, afterall the E.R. isn’t the place for “fluff nursing” as they call it. I have been told on numerous occasions that I have fantastic bedside manner. Nurses will come to me to talk with there patient if the patient is disagreeing or refusing a nessasary test. Personally, I don’t believe in the saying that not everyone is capable of good bedside manner “some people have it and some don’t”. All it takes, is a little extra patience, a smile, staying calm and just listening to the patient for five minutes, get to know them a little better. Sometimes all people need is a friend, and all I need is to make one persons unfortunate trip to the E.R. as plesent and comfortable as possible if they leave smiling and thanking me, it really makes me feel good inside that I made an impact on there day.
Hard work is something I am far to familiar with. I may have skewed off the main topic a bit, normally I would never in my life talk about my struggles to anyone let alone write them in an essay for college. I just wanted to whoever it may be that reads this knows that I am not a quitter. Please understand that a career in healthcare is my passion, which I feel passion is still an understatement. I am very curious in this field, I feel as if I never want to stop learning until I know it all. I am determined to become the best Physicians Assistant I can possibly be. I would be beyond honored to study at Philadelphia University. The academics I have to show from high school unfortunatly do not reflect the person I am today in anyway at all. Acceptance to this program would mean more to me than winning the largest lottery jackpot ever, I am very serious when I say that too. This career is for me and I know I can achieve wonderful things through the work I will do beyond graduation. If accepted I would work my absolute hardest every single day of the year for the next five years. Although my past has been holding me back, somewhere inside me the little girl with big dreams is screaming don’t give up! I can hear her when I picture myself working after completing the program, I still believe with everything in me that I can and will do this. I do want to say thank you for reading my essay, I hope you enjoyed what I wrote.