I was lost. I was lost and felt wedged between two boulders. I was stuck between the stress of the indefinite and the anxiety of the unknown. It felt as if I was stopped at one of those painfully long red lights in front of my destined path without direction.
Then there was an opportunity and I found myself in this beautiful but chaotic place. It’s the house of the rejoicing, the star-crossed, and the incautious. At any moment, hell could come through its doors. I was given the opportunity to shadow the physician assistants at the hospital this past summer.
A hospital is the holder of life changing, bizarre, and interesting things. Just thirty minutes before my first day of shadowing started, three young kids were rushed into the same hospital after being hit by a car. There were many people crowding in two doorways - one named Trauma 1 and the other Trauma 2. I took a glimpse into the first room, while the physician assistant I was shadowing was talking. It was hard to tell what was going on because of all of the chaos, but there were murmurs of it being one of the three kids in there and that he may not make it. I was invited into the room by the team and I obliged without knowing the seriousness of the situation or what I was going to encounter. There were people, machines, and tubes coming from everywhere on a blood stained kid. I was about to see firsthand what happens in a trauma situation at the hospital.
This experience changed me. At one time, I had zero confidence in myself to make any decision for my future. I had no passions or hobbies and just plain doubted myself that I’d be good at anything new. Besides this, I was diagnosed with ADD two years ago. I went undiagnosed for 15 years because I was smart and quiet. As time went on, I was feeling more and more of the exhaustion in my brain to do my work and I was becoming more lost on a daily basis.
The social hierarchy of high school disappears in a hospital setting, where everyone is working and talking with each other as a team. Here I was, a high school student, talking and sharing laughs with doctors and physician assistants. The whole hospital works as one big team; there was no social status, just people who care. This team is a support system for one another professionally and they work together with one goal in mind, to help the people in need.
After walking through those doors and spending time exploring a mere interest, I am looking forward to exploring the field as my future profession. It brings excitement every day. No two patients are the same and no two days will be either at a hospital. This job has a daily variance in professional tasks, and I love the anticipation of new opportunities to learn, grow, and help people. Interacting with a myriad of new people all the time creates a social environment that makes someone like me thrive.
After that first day shadowing with the physician assistants, my plans for the future have completely changed. I never felt the sense of pride and excitement about going forward and putting together my future as I do now. Each day I am at the hospital, I just get a sense of belonging. It has the support system of team work that I need, it has the easy social environment, and it keeps me motivated with new opportunities arriving each day. I was lost, but now I have found the path on which I belong.