Dreams can easily be broken.
Dreams don’t come true, and dreams often take work.
Our culture today gives people encouragement to go and seek after what we believe in; to follow our dreams; to go after what we want to do. After all, isn’t that what all graduate speeches are about?
Dreams can be shattered. Mine just did this week — my dream to go back to school to become a PA, and all the work that I tried to do to redeem my incredibly proud mistake that I made is something that if I could tell any college undergrad, it’s to really do your research of majors, of difficulties of subject matter, and if there’s a dream one wants to follow, work has to go into it. Period.
I got my rejection “letter” in the form of an email this week. The thorn on my side as they say, was my GPA, specifically my science GPA. Excellent experience, essay, letters of recommendations, and significant improvement in GPA since my undergrad years. Yet, it was not enough. Sad to say, I thought, my dreams of going back to school to be that chronic disease champion in primary care was over. Working hard to redeem my. More undergraduate GPA as I partied, worked, interned, and spent barely any time in school. It was the painful reality that my undergrad GPA was never going to leave me.
Yet, is my dream truly over? Not yet, I would say. Yes, my undergrad poor habits and inability to manage my time, poor strategy of understanding what I ought to do as what I was doing are the direct consequence to my situation to date. No excuses, even the family turmoil experienced could justify my undergrad GPA. I was a young stupid, and incredibly media addicted young adult. I have to live with these consequences.
However, upon re-evaluation of what I want to do with my life, I realized this — a chronic disease champion in primary care. What does this mean? Do I need to be a PA? The answer to this question is — NO. So, what other types of health care professions work in primary care? There’s what I’m doing now, with a more specific concentration, called a health educator (such as a certified diabetes educator). There’s the case manager (RN), the NP, the health administrator/manager, etc. There are many avenues. Yet, if my love is to be with the patient, what can I do?
Years ago, I had applied once to what’s an entry level masters of nursing program. After getting wait listed, I decided to go get my masters in Public Health. The light bulb clicked in my head as I thought for a moment at work, that I could go back and look into nursing as an option for me to be in primary care, be a chronic disease champion, and see patients. I did some thorough research as I graduated from my undergrad studies, and I love what nurses do. Sure, I love PAs, after all, I’ve seen what they’ve done, but my biggest impact in life, especially being sick in the isolation ward at a local hospital, was a nurse who calmed my fears of this machine used to help me breath. After work, I did mroe research, more than ever, of what a family nurse practitioner can do in primary care. Lo and behold — the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), described the role of an FNP in a primary care setting, which I’ve worked with as an MA in the past, but I like to see what they do…. And the description is as follows:
Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays.
Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and injuries.
Prescribing medications and other treatments.
Managing patients’ overall care.
Educating patients on disease prevention and positive health and lifestyle choices.
Can you imagine the hope and potential I saw in this? When I saw this, waves of memories came back, of what I remembered while working as a floating MA, observing the FNPs work, what nurses learn, what I did as a CNA, and most of all, during my MPH years, the voice of nurses in advocacy. I have to say, this moment of re-evaluation, gave me a lot of hope, and dream to be a chronic disease champion fired up.
Dreams can be broken. This is NOT a blog of how to continue to live a dream that is un feasible. The fact is, there are dreams that are un feasible. I thought mine is, after my rejection. Being a PA might be that un feasible dream, after all, the fact of the matter is that my GPA just doesn’t cut it for many PA schools. Yet, my dream to be a chronic disease champion is not too unfeasible. So, after my re-evaluation and time of reflection, here’s to what I think can be my potential method of being a chronic disease champion — nursing as an family nurse practitioner.
Here’s to a walk from a boulevard of a broken dream, to a right turn to making of a dream come true. This, of course, is a work in progress.