Overcoming Obstacles and Challenging Situations on the Way to Passion
July 8, 2013, is a day that I will never forget. At approximately 1:15 p.m., a 911 dispatcher’s frantic voice came over my radio: ‘Medic 908, emergency response for a one-month-old not breathing.’ My partner and I rushed to the ambulance and then to the residence. A panicked grandmother placed a handsome blue-eyed baby boy in my arms. He was flaccid and showed agonal respirations; his body had already taken on a blue hue. My EMT partner and I swiftly began resuscitative efforts. After twenty minutes, the infant who once laid lifeless in my arms began coughing and screaming. Never in my life have I been so grateful to hear an infant scream at the top of his lungs.
We swiftly moved to the ambulance and began to transport our patient to the emergency department. Upon our arrival, the trauma bay flooded with nurses and doctors. I felt truly amazed that although no one in the room personally knew the baby boy, everyone was doing everything possible to give him a second chance at life. I had only spent twenty minutes with him, but leaving his side to stand outside the trauma bay—no longer actively participating in his patient care—was very difficult. After several minutes of watching the team of physicians, physician assistants, and nurses continue providing care, I felt a deep peace and assurance in the knowledge that the baby boy was in good hands. Since that encounter and experiencing the collaborative resuscitative efforts and teamwork, I have wanted to advance my medical career and provide my community with education on various health topics.
Because my academics during college were not very strong, my journey started off rough. I needed to improve something, but I didn’t know what. On July 8, 2014, exactly one year after me and my partner resuscitated a handsome blue-eyed baby boy, I finally arrived at my answer. The patient and his mother stopped by the ambulance station to thank us. He had a big smile on his face, and I was amazed to see how well he was doing and how thankful the family was for our lifesaving efforts. As we briefly discussed that horrendous day, I realized that he was still alive because everyone who played a part in his resuscitation had discipline and compassion. I knew that if I could apply those two components together, they would guide me in the right direction of advancing my education in public health.
The first component that I needed to evaluate was self-discipline. I remember that as a child, I was impatient on staircases. Because I was too restless and lacked the discipline to wait for her to navigate up and down, I would find a way to maneuver around my grandmother by skipping steps. I did that until the day I fell. That fall taught me to respect steps and take them one by one. Skipping steps is definitely dangerous. My grades during the start of my college career reflected the fact that self-discipline was a major life step that I had ignored, again to my own detriment.
This was a time for me to be creative and to refocus, restructure, and reorganize my plan to improve my grades. My plan consisted of retaking all of the science classes in which I earned a grade of C or lower. By retaking those courses, I developed self-discipline. I knew that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to do what was necessary—no matter what. Even as my grades slowly trended upward, I still occasionally encountered some rough spots. However, I stayed focused and continued to take one step at a time until I arrived at my desired result.
Once I developed the self-discipline that I needed, I focused on becoming a better health care provider. I accepted a job as a critical care flight paramedic. Working as a flight paramedic I not only learned a vast amount of medical knowledge but also gained the experience of giving compassionate care. I learned the importance of showing empathy; listening to patients; interacting and socializing with patients’ families, and simply checking on patients. Each time I came in contact with a patient, I put myself in his or her shoes to understand his or her situation.
I was truly amazed that a simple smile and a positive attitude greatly affected patients and their families. As a flight paramedic, I came in contact with patients when they were at their worst. I had to use critical-thinking skills and concepts to provide patients with proper medicine and treatment. Many patients who I came in contact with were extremely terrified of the possible outcomes of their serious illnesses or injuries. However, I quickly learned that just by providing patients with a hand to hold and speaking to them in a comforting tone were the best treatments. Such seemingly insignificant actions heal the places that medicine cannot touch.
In closing my passion is to give back to my community and provide answers to unanswered questions. I strongly believe by attending Walden University Master of Public Health program, the education I will gain will lead me in the right direction in improving public health in my community, and improving my leadership abilities to lead others to develop and implement plans to improving public health.
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