About this sample
About this sample
Words: 900 |
5 min read
Published: Aug 31, 2023
Words: 900|Pages: 2|5 min read
The year was 2014, and I was working as a registered nurse case manager. I received notification from the New Jersey State Department of Health regarding a child in Newark with a blood lead level of 59mcg/dl. This child required immediate medical attention. It reminded me of how I broke my arm as a child, the urgency of the situation striking a chord. I contacted the child’s mother but initially received no response. My team and I planned a home visit where I would meet with the mother and explain the dangers that her child was facing. The mother only spoke Spanish. I was able to communicate with her through translation services and realized she had knowledge deficit when she claimed that she did not know about lead. We rushed the child to the emergency room, my heart racing just as it had when I broke my arm, and I contacted the city’s Division of Environmental Health for an urgent home inspection. The inspection revealed several lead hazards and I was able to help enroll the family in a remediation program that would provide resources to abate these hazards free of charge.
When I had met with the mother at the hospital, she was visibly distraught and worried. I held her hand and made sure that my calm demeanor sent a message of encouragement. The mother indicated she witnessed the child put a paint chip in their mouth recently. The abdominal x-ray confirmed this when it revealed evidence of lead ingestion. Blood tests were ordered to monitor the lead levels over the next several days. The goal was to discharge the child to lead-safe housing when the lead level was below 20mcg/dl. In order to accomplish this, I had to work collaboratively with an array of professionals: physicians, nurses, social workers, and even nutritionists.
Following the child’s discharge, I frequently conducted home visits to ensure compliance with medication administration and to confirm that lead-safety measures were put in place and maintained. This experience instilled in me a strengthened sense of compassion for helping families in low-income communities. Our successful collaboration led to optimum patient outcomes for the child and the family. Having occasionally witnessed how health professionals cared for patients to actually experiencing it firsthand and being a part of the process in my adult life as a healthcare professional is incredibly gratifying. Witnessing health disparities among the less fortunate within the United States has further motivated me to seek more knowledge and to solve community-wide problems by becoming a physician.
My passion for serving the underprivileged and transforming their lives stems from my curiosity and love for learning. My medical journey began the day I broke my arm as a child. “They took a picture of your hand,” my father said to me. Intrigued, I was curious as to what kind of story the image told. My father explained to me that a radiologist was interpreting the image developed through the use of an x-ray. The image told a story about the human body and helped identify how a problem could be solved. It was a fascinating experience, and I can pinpoint that exact moment as the one that sparked my initial interest in medicine. I would witness health professionals interact with children and noticed how they were kind and comforting. These experiences ignited my interest in helping others by taking part in the problem-solving process myself.
I grew up in a rural region of Zambia. It was not uncommon to have inadequate access to health care facilities, as my community lacked many resources, including physicians. Witnessing such inequities further propelled my eagerness to seek the knowledge that might help me alleviate such disparities and help people most in need. My parents aided in my dream by helping me develop my career in nursing at Southern Arkansas University. However, my journey through medical school will be my way of giving back to my family. To continue with my knowledge-seeking pursuit, I enrolled in Kean University to complete my pre-med requirements while I simultaneously completed my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I attained this while I continued to garner experience in the clinical setting through a full-time and a part time job in nursing.
As an individual from an area that is disadvantaged medically, I do believe accessibility to adequate healthcare professionals and services would generate better health outcomes. I plan on contributing to such communities by furthering my education as a healthcare professional and using my training to bridge gaps in healthcare that are the root of the disparities that motivated me to enter this field in the first place. Humankind needs and deserves a medical profession populated by physicians who are persistently interested in solving the most pressing medical problems, especially those facing communities that are the most under-served. My experience has shown me that in order to accomplish this, healthcare professionals need to master the science of their field as well as understand the psychology and human nature of their patients and communities. I want to be the kind of physician who will provide culturally congruent care for populations with unique problems while continuing to pursue crucial innovations to address their medical, spiritual, emotional and social needs.
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