Anyone who works in a hospital environment knows that “my chest hurts”is a statement that cannot just be disregarded. Jessica is a patient of the nursing home I work for we brought to and from dialysis three times per week. At the old age of 86, she has Alzheimer’s, and her history of CVA rendered her hemiplegic, reliant on us for movement. Jessica would stare through us and make conversations along with her late husband. She will insist she is being rained on while inside the ambulance. She will demand we do things we’d by no means do for another patient, i.e., fold blanket a certain way and position it at a particular angle to make her comfortable, and help keep her arm in the air for an entire 40 minutes’ drive. However, then, it is Jessica and Jessica is a particular patient to us and me, we do everything to please her and make her comfortable. She complains about everything but nothing the same but something new every time. So when she started complaining about the chest pain, it instantly raised red flags.
With a brand-new employee with us, we made a conscious call of running her to the ER that is about 5 miles up the road, emergent, rather than waiting for ALS. Jessica was my patient; I ran the call myself. Vitals are stable, and she says she is not having difficulty breathing. During the 3 minutes of transport, I called in the report with the wailing noise of the sirens, history of CVA and CVA. Jessica had eyes on me. Rapid facial drooping, driving in now, Jessica always had facial drooping and left-sided weakness, but it was terrible. I have taken her every week for two months, but this time, I was sitting on her right side. My team and I took her straight to CT, and I have not seen her again since that day. Jessica was my patient and I everyone knew it.
There are times that you remind yourself that being a health care provider is a job that’s worth it all. Having practiced as an optometrist for years has exposed me to the challenges people face due to ill health as a lot of systemic diseases like diabetes and Hiv manifest in the eyes. There was a patient, James, whom I remember was complaining of blurred vision and dizziness after I examined him, I found out that he had diabetic eyes and was not aware he had diabetes all these while, I had to refer him to the doctor for further evaluation. I remember being in the surgery with an ophthalmologist to perform an operation on an eight-year-old girl who fell with her eyes on her sharp writing pencil. The pain she was going through, the despairing mother who has almost lost hope that the daughter is probably going to lose the eye. The priceless smile on their face after the successful .surgery is something I can never forget. Seeing accident patients with traumatic eyes and some that lost their eyes. I remember the case of a man who came from the very rural area who was told he could use urine to treat bacterial conjunctivitis only for him to discover he could not see with his both eyes two days later. He eventually lost the eyes as the eyes were beyond just treatment. I remember one dementia senior woman whom I was assisting with activities of daily living as a certified nurse assistant taking her to the hospital, reminding her of her medication.
The mountain is steep to climb. So keep your head up, walk proud. When you miss the point and fall, pick yourself up and forge ahead. Don’t dwell on your shortfalls, learn from your mistakes and celebrate them. The mistakes you make and experiences are invaluable. The scars you bear from multiple falls are a sign of someone who is determined never gives up. I have heard different stories of how getting accepted into a physician assistant school is like mission impossible, the countless numbers of prerequisite classes, coupled that I have two young babies at home with the distractions that come with it. All these did not discourage me; it gave me the motivation I needed to push myself to get to this stage. Within the space of 8 months, I was able to complete eleven classes with a GPA of 4.0. I pray and hope that someone will see my efforts and determination and grant me this opportunity to become a physician assistant. I have proved my capability and motivation in the last few months, going to college with all these challenges I have with life and family. I am ready, prepared and willing to do whatever it takes to reach my ambition of providing the utmost quality care of which I am capable. After years of dabbling in the medical field as an optometrist in Nigeria, my relocation to the states to join my husband has exposed me to another medical profession I will love to be for the rest of my life and my desire to get there has never been stronger.
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