Friday, October 11, 2013

My college admission

"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My life has taken me many different directions. This direction came completely by surprise but has pushed me to get out there an accomplish one of my goals. To go back to school. I just finished applying to the University of Washington in Tacoma and this was my admission essay.

From the age of 7 months to age 16, I suffered from petit mal and grand mal seizures. The cause of these seizures were never found. One day they miraculously disappeared. Because of this, during my academic career I have felt as if I have always had to work a little harder than others. It requires me to put in a little more time but my determination has always helped drive me to succeed. When I make up my mind to do something, I get it done and get it done to the best of my ability, putting everything I have into achieving my goals. 

My very first experience in the hospital started with my job as a transporter, inspiring me to continue my path in the medical field following my parents' footsteps into healthcare. My family's struggle with my father's battle with multiple sclerosis fueled my story and my path. My academic career started off with getting trained as an emergency medical technician, giving me the opportunity to find a job working in the emergency department which gave me great deal of knowledge and experience to ease my way into the nursing profession. I was awarded the Project Hope Scholarship for financially struggling at risk students I also received a scholarship from the Lions Club. I attended Edison community college in Florida, leading to my next achievement of graduating with an associates of science in nursing.

For the last 9 years, while working as a nurse at some of the finest teaching facilities in the country including Johns Hopkins, and being trained in many different specialties such as transplant (hearts, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, bone marrow and liver), telemetry, medical surgical, progressive care, oncology, home health and intravenous therapy, I have been assigned to many leadership roles such as being a charge nurse and leading a council at my organization. I have also attended many seminars, conferences and achieved many continuing education credits. I have received a certification as a vascular access nurse.

I have also received many certifications in health and fitness as well as taking some college courses in exercise science to expand my knowledge as a nurse and to help people live healthier lives including myself. During my journey as a nurse I gained a lot of weight, and was so busy caring for others that I forgot about the most important person, myself. My journey led to my transformation not just physically but mentally. I lost a lot of weight, learned how to manage my stress, and found a deeper compassion then I had ever known toward myself and my patients. My transformation was not only a journey with myself but my family. My husband and I participated in many weight loss competitions while winning many awards from most weight lost to greatest transformation. My journey to a healthy life led me back to my inner athlete driving me to enter many fitness competitions including qualifying for the Crossfit Northwest Regionals where I competed against some of the top athletes in the country. I also competed in Olympic Weightlifting and was only 4kg away from qualifying for my first national competition. My experience in powerlifting lead me to being able to pick 364lbs off the ground equaling over twice my body weight. My inspiration as a runner led me to finishing my first half marathon in Seattle.  My athletic endeavors have not only helped me to keep my weight off for over 4 years but to also gain mental strength and confidence and belief that I can do anything I set my mind to. 

I did not grow up with what most people would recognize as classic cultural traditions. What multiple generations of family have consistently instilled in my generation is a sense of determination, of identifying what you want and letting nothing get in your way, and also taking the time and expending the effort to help others do the same along the way. Throughout my life I have participated in many volunteer opportunities including Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters in high school as well as the American Red Cross. At my current organization I have volunteered to be part of many groups including the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Group as well as volunteering to teach fitness classes for our Healthy at Work program encouraging, mentoring and guiding the way to help others on their journey to a healthy life. 

Ever since graduating from my nursing program, I have wanted to go back to school to advance my degree but have continually been pushed back with the struggles of conquering the stress and challenges of being a nurse. I have recently been challenged with a back injury consisting of annular tears in my discs L4-L5 and L5-S1 as well as some degenerative disc disease. This has resulted in unpaid time off from work and prevented me from being able to keep up with the physical demands of being a nurse. This challenge has forced me to step back and look at other avenues in my career. My leadership experience as a nurse has inspired me to fulfill my dream of advancing my education and take the next step in my future. My experiences in my career have helped me to discover what challenges we are being faced with in healthcare while encouraging me to step out of the box and find newer and better ways to reach out to others with a helping hand, Inspiring me to lead the way. My aspirations include going back to school for my Bachelors in Nursing followed by a Masters in Healthcare Leadership. My other desires in my career are to be an inspirational public speaker. The University of Washington in Tacoma will help me achieve my goals with not only convenience, but also being part of something larger, being part of a dream of being the best we can be, being part of a supportive community that will help me turn my dream into reality. 

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