My Goals to Become a Physician Assistant: Opportunity to Continue Studying at University

Throughout my adolescence, I found myself being especially attracted to the sciences. I knew from early on that I pictured myself taking on a career as a medical professional, as I took many health related courses during highschool. It was also during this period of my life that I became a Certified Nursing Assistant. With this certification, I took on a position at a long-term care facility where I provided assistance with daily activities to those who were unable to accomplish them alone. Routines like toileting, bathing, and feeding were all tasks that I had the ability to help them with. As a CNA assigned to the dementia floor of the facility, my role was one of not only being a caretaker, but also being a mediator between the residents and their families, as the residents were often unable to communicate for themselves. Walking through the locked doors that were intended to keep the residents from wandering, smelling the urine of the soiled briefs, and seeing the content yet still seemingly absentminded expressions on the faces of those suffering from dementia; I knew each day that I was going to be challenged. I remember the first time that I gave a full bed bath to an elderly woman, the first time that I had to clean a man’s catheter and nephrostomy bag, and the first time that I had to sit for hours trying to get a resident to eat at least a bite of her lunch without falling asleep between each attempt. There were many days where it seemed as though the challenges outweighed the reward, however my favorite moments were when residents whom had not spoken, smiled, or interacted with family or staff all day, all of a sudden talked, sang, or smiled. To me, these moments showed how far attentiveness and compassion truly go in the healthcare field, especially when those receiving the care are reaching the end of their lives. Although the work was difficult, it was an eye-opening experience that reassured my passion for the health profession. The immense amounts of compassion and patience that are truly needed by one working as a CNA with the elderly, are valuable qualities that I have gained, and see myself continuing to express throughout my healthcare career. With this passion, I hope to become a Physician Assistant and am seeking the opportunity to pursue this career at Bethel University as a Graduate student.

Although I was not introduced to the career as a Physician Assistant until after my freshman year of college, I knew from early on that I had a passion for both the biological sciences and hispanic studies, and had a desire to pursue a degree in both of them. During my time as an undergraduate, I developed an interest for human-based biology courses in particular. Courses in Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, and Cell Biology all sparked my interest as I am very intrigued by how the human body functions. My experiences thus far in the Biology Department at Bethel University have sparked excitement in hopefully nearing research. I would particularly enjoy focusing my studies in human disease or immunology. By additionally pursuing a degree in Spanish at Bethel, I have been able to further not only my spanish speaking skills, but also have had the opportunity to improve my cross-cultural interpersonal skills and appreciation for differing cultures. During my time at Bethel University, I found myself greatly improving this aspect of myself by taking an opportunity to teach English as a second language to newly immigrated Spanish speakers at the HUBBS Center in St. Paul, MN. At this facility, they strongly value providing adults with opportunities to acquire and improve their English literacy skills. Each week I was tasked with assisting several adults, whom all possessed different capabilities in their English speaking, to become self-sufficient and be able to participate effectively as productive workers, family members, and citizens. Having had a solid background in the spanish language prior to this volunteer work, I had the ability to not only understand questions that were asked of me by the students, but also communicate back to them answers in a manner that they were able to comprehend. Much like working as a CNA, this experience caused me to develop a deeper appreciation for helping others and the strong patience needed for doing that. Since there was a language barrier between the students and I, it was necessary that I learn how to depend on other factors such as body language and coming up with alternate ways to communicate in order to effectively understand them and express myself. These skills are greatly important in a healthcare profession, as having the ability to communicate cross-culturally is desirable. As a Physician Assistant, I would use these skills that I have gained through my experience to offer exceptional healthcare to a wide-variety of people.

Throughout my undergraduate experience thus far at Bethel University, I have been able to further expand not only myself as a pre-healthcare professional, but also myself as a well-rounded individual. Having attended a small, liberal arts university, I have had the ability to create close connections with professors and take a wide variety of courses, both of which have challenged me to further explore my interests. I value all that I have been able to explore and learn about myself throughout my time at Bethel, and hope that I will have the opportunity to continue my education there as a Graduate student in the Physician Assistant program.

Throughout my career as a student and a caregiver, I have learned that along with my alacrity for medicine, I possess qualities that would enhance my role as a Physician Assistant. Most importantly I am a good listener, a quality that is significant in any health profession. I am compassionate for others, and possess immense amounts of patience - all of which I have been able to hone in on thanks to my experiences. With my interests and qualities in mind, I see myself as a qualified candidate and would benefit in having the opportunity to participate in the PA graduate program at Bethel University, rather than at another institution, because it would allow me to develop the skills needed to perform excellent medical practice, while being guided by Christian faith.

My ultimate goal is to become an exceptional healthcare provider as a Physician Assistant. I want to benefit the healthcare community by having the ability to examine patients and order treatments, while also educating patients and being involved in preventative healthcare. By being granted the opportunity to pursue this goal at Bethel University, I will be able to learn how to serve the community in a way that both provides exceptional healthcare to all cultures, as well as how to be driven by faith while doing it. I think that being a Physician Assistant is about providing the best care, while finding meaning in your work. This is why I believe that pursuing this career at Bethel University is an opportunity that I want to have the privilege of being a part of.    

01 August 2022
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