Thursday, August 13, 2009

My desire to be a PA was born over 15 years ago. I first learned about PA’s when my son was born. While his birth was uneventful, the following four years were anything but. I worked in the health care field, but now, I was seeing the other side of medicine. During my hasty education in taking care of my sick child, with all the confusing equipment and long, frightning hours standing next to his crib, I realized that I needed to know more. While involved in patient care as a PCA was nice, I had always wanted to be more involved and part of the team that brought solutions to medical problems. In my searching, I found this profession, and like the piece of a puzzle that has been missing, it fit.

I embarked on learning everything I could about being a PA. I shadowed and read and every chance I got to speak to a PA, I grabbed. I started work on my prerequisites. Watching PA’s on our unit interact with patients and physicians as the bridge brought further understanding of the relationship between the PA and MD. I admired the competence and compassion that PA’s exhibited and appreciated the time they spent with patients. The more I learned about being a PA, the more committed I was to entering the field.

However, life happened. I found myself the single parent of two children. Leaving my children and devoting the amount of time that I knew PA school entailed would not be fair to them, the program, or myself.

So, 15 years later, older, but certainly wiser, I am back on my path. It’s as exciting now as it was then. Except this time, it’s actually going to happen. I can honestly say having the full support of my family and friends makes the journey even more poignant.

My recent shadowing experiences have solidified my commitment. I have enjoyed rounding, listening to discussions between the team. I am ever grateful to the PA’s that swept me under their wings so I could witness everything they do in their day. The medical teams accepted my presence without question and invited me to attend lectures and case reviews. Shadowing allowed me to see inside the life of a PA, and what it was like to work as a valuable part of the medical team.

While I have seen PA’s in a hospital setting, I admit being excited about the general care possibilities. Being a PA will allow me to reach out to those not as fortunate; I will finally have the skills to make a difference. I fully intend to explore those options once in, and when I graduate from, PA school. I appreciate that reaching out is part of the PA mission. At this point in my life, becoming a PA feels more like a lifestyle choice rather then a career. This feels very right.

Life always seems to take its correct path. While missing my chance years ago, I can now grant my full attention to PA school and my ensuing career. Much like parenting, it’s important to put my total being into whatever I do. Knowing I can fully commit to being a PA confirms that now is, indeed, the right time.

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