Personal Narrative: Thank you for your help!!!
I never would have thought that fracturing my C7 spinous process my senior year in college during an unfortunate gymnastics accident would verify my decision to become a Physician Assistant (PA). To confirm that the heeling process was proceeding in the right direction, I had weekly visits to the orthopedic office for x-rays. For the next six weeks, I was fortunate enough to see the same Orthopedic PA. This was an emotional time in my life, as this could have been a season and career ending injury. The PA was extremely understanding of my feelings and desire to compete in gymnastics again. He was direct in explaining the treatment plan and comprehensive in his expectations of the recovery process. Each time I left the office I was extremely satisfied with the care that I was receiving. I was able to witness how a PA works autonomously treating patients, while still being part of a healthcare team and how they are able to build solid relationships with his/her patients. As a Physician Assistant, I want my patients to experience the same treatment that I did.
I started college in a doctorate program for Physical Therapy, but realized that it was not the area of healthcare that I was interested in. As I began shadowing other healthcare professionals, I was fortunate enough to shadow a PA in the operating room (OR). This opened my eyes to a field of medicine, I had never before experienced. I watched as the PA comforted the patient prior to surgery, explaining the procedure and exactly what was going to happen once she went into the OR. The patient greatly appreciated this extra consideration and considerably relaxed after speaking with the PA. It was truly gratifying to see a healthcare professional take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to make a patient feel at ease. Once in the OR, I watched in awe as the PA and physician worked hand in hand to complete the surgery. It was astounding to see this kind of teamwork. As a collegiate gymnast for four years and co-captain during my senior year, I understand the importance of teamwork and each individual's role in making a team successful.
After this initial experience in the OR, I took numerous opportunities to explore the PA profession and shadow in a multitude of different settings including: Primary Care, Orthopedic Clinic, Orthopedic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, General Surgery, and Emergency Medicine. All of these experiences have given me insight to my future career as a PA. As I was shadowing, I was able to better understand the profession, along with the skills and qualities needed to become a successful PA. While each of the PAs has their own unique experiences, all of them seem to share similar goals in the healthcare industry of providing quality medical care and having the ability to treat and diagnose patients. I realized that these goals are very similar to what I have for myself. Since graduating college, I have been working as an EMT to expand my healthcare knowledge and patient care experience. This has given me the opportunity deal with patients in a multitude of circumstances. However, as an EMT I am limited in what care I can provide a patient. Becoming a PA will give me the opportunity to diagnose and treat patients while having the versatility to work in more than one area of medicine.
As a Physician Assistant, I will be an essential member in the healthcare profession. I truly believe that a PA is the most unique and gratifying profession in the healthcare industry. Being fortunate enough to observe PA's in a multitude of settings has convinced me that my lifelong dream in healthcare can best be fulfilled by a career as a Physician Assistant. When given the opportunity, I will completely dedicate myself to achieving this goal.