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Creating a Personal Story: Everyone Has a Story

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    When I was fourteen, my mother told me how the nurses gently cared for my great grandfather after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The nurses’ care allowed him an additional eleven years with his family. Beginning on my sixteenth birthday I would witness my grandmother praise the nurses each time they helped her recover from her yearly brain tumor removals. When I turned eighteen, an alumnus from my high school came to share the steps she took in achieving a nursing career, affirming it was the best decision that she had ever made.

    At twenty-three, I watched closely as ICC nurses cared for a close friend, who was in a coma, as if they had known her for her entire life. Now at thirty years old, I regularly bear witness to nurses performing miracles as they advocate for patients with acute cancers. I often find myself in awe of their work and eager to get to that place in my own career. I am finally at a place in my life where I feel really ready to create my own story. I have been working towards a career in nursing for nearly a decade. As an undergraduate at San Jose State I concentrated on gaining a better understanding of public health.

    Through both local community and global initiatives, I have gained experience in needs assessment, program planning and implementation for communities that require additional tools in order to overcome personal crises. Now, I would like to fuse all of these experiences into one by using my previously acquired education to evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of patient healthcare. I have chosen a career in nursing because I feel it is a natural extension of myself to heal and nurture. It is a field in which my background in healthcare, my fascination with science, and my commitment to helping others will coalesce.

    I knew I wanted to be a nurse at a very young age. Given that I have always loved learning about the human body and caring for others, my intuition guided me towards nursing as my future career path. To ensure that this was the right path for me, I became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) before continuing my prerequisite courses in college. I immediately fell in love with the Job and knew right away that I had made the right decision. I enjoy working under pressure, integrating theory into practice, and sometimes putting aside conventional wisdom for the sake of innovation.

    While I am somewhat limited in my role as a CAN, the experience has allowed me to clearly see that I am ready to take the next step toward the front line of healthcare, advocating for my patients at all levels. It is rare for someone to find a career that is personally satisfying while improving the quality of life of others. For me, a career in nursing will provide exactly that, a perfect balance between passion and professionalism. As a fourth year CAN in the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMW) Department at Stanford Hospital, I have been fortunate enough to interact with a very averse, multi-faceted team.

    The nurses, physicians, social workers, pharmacists, case managers, clinical nurse specialists and therapists that I work with daily have each played a key role in enhancing my ability to absorb and apply crucial information when caring for patients. My work as a CAN has given me first hand dressed patients, assisted with trips to the bathroom, provided incontinent care, and emptied and cared for catheters. I have answered call lights of persistent patients, assisted in daily physical therapy exercises, and have performed heavy lifting with wheelchair bound patients.

    I have provided postmortem care, been the nurse’s eyes and ears, and documented the care of patients. I have been thrown up on, peed on and bled on. I have shed many tears with my patients and I have laughed so hard that my stomach hurt. I am often humbled when I hear coworkers and patients tell me that I have potential to be a wonderful nurse one day. With my passion for this line of work, I am confident that I will prove them right. My aspiration to become a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNN) has taken shape throughout my volunteer work with Planned Parenthood in San Jose.

    Here I am able to work alongside physicians to provide care to uninsured and undeserved populations, while serving as a chaperone for the male physician during his well-women exams. Each week I assist with ultrasounds, pap tests, and sexually transmitted disease check-ups. This work allows me to feel empowered to effect change in my community while providing comfort to women seeking sexual and reproductive care. In 2011, my volunteer efforts expanded internationally as I became one of several San Jose State students to travel on a medical brigade in Honduras, helping to set up a health clinic in San

    Antonio De Oriented. In Just seven days we were able to provide health services to over 200 community members. It was a life changing experience to say the least, igniting my passion simultaneously for both leadership and community involvement. I have come to appreciate both the flexibility and time that medical professionals devote to their patients in order to build strong relationships built on compassion and trust. I look forward to the day when I am able to take on that responsibility.

    My professional and volunteer experiences have taught me that I thrive in providing exceptional care and support to whatever population I am working with at the time. At present, I yearn for the opportunity to further my education and achieve my ultimate goal of earning my MANS. I am seeking a program that provides a comprehensive and challenging curriculum to augment my skills as a medical professional. I believe the CNN program is a perfect fit for my next steps in personal, academic, and professional preparation. Of course, I recognize such a specialty will pose an unbelievable challenge, but such is the life I seek.

    I feel that the USAF CNN aerogram provides the perfect training ground for me. I am determined to become a CNN – specializing in oncology. Treating those afflicted with terminal illness will leverage and hone my skills of empathy, critical thinking, and stewardship. I would like my story to begin something like this: “After earning my MANS from USAF, I Joined an interdisciplinary medical team to lend my expertise towards improving the quality of care for oncology patients and their families. I also continue my volunteer work, traveling on medical brigades to various local and global communities. “

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