Written by Robert Garza
“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” - Patch Adams
Today’s health care worker is a beacon of hope because, like the approach taken by Patch Adams, they are able to create success even in the bleakest of moments. On a daily basis they are successful in saving lives, providing leadership, and guiding family and loved ones through hard times. If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll be delighted to know that some of the best stories shared by our ACLS scholarship applicants have been compiled for you. The ACLS applicants recount moments that they knew they found their true calling, how they prepare for emergency situations, and even how they define success after gaining real-life experience in the field.
Do you remember the moment you knew that a career health care was right for you? The ACLS scholarship essays will inspire you as you read about the applicants and the moments that confirmed their choice to become health care professionals. Few things are as motivating as finding a calling. For example, Cynthia Herda wrote about a casual vacation that turned into a personal and career defining incident:
We stopped at a gas station in New Mexico to refuel and grab a bite to eat. As we got out to pump the gas, we began talking to an older man and his wife… They were riding on a fat, red, Harley motorcycle, with side bins by the rear seat…
After a brief, cordial conversation with the couple, we said goodbye and wished them safe travels.
About 15 miles down the road, traffic was slowing and all the cars were merging to the right, outside lane. Shortly after, we came upon the accident. My heart sank.
I saw the motorcycle, in pieces, spread out across the two left lanes. There was someone lying in the middle of the road. I spotted a man, off to the left, attempting to crawl up the embankment.
After assessing that Steven was in no immediate or life-threatening danger, I raced over to check on Angela. I feared the worst. I knelt down beside her and noticed she was breathing.
The front of her helmet was cracked in several places and the eye shield was missing. I could see her face. It was covered in blood. I quickly grabbed a roll of gauze from my bag. I didn’t know where the blood was coming from. I gently applied pressure to her face to soak up the blood without complicating her injuries.
The paramedics arrived a few minutes later. I gave them what pertinent information I had and stepped back. They placed a C-collar on her immediately and placed a backboard underneath her. Another group of paramedics were putting Steven on a stretcher. As I watched Steven and Angela being loaded, each into a different ambulance, I realized, this is what I was meant to do.
Herda’s training empowered her to take control over an unexpected life and death situation. Her handling of the situation assured her that her education and experience were more than simply job training, they were part of a calling.
Realizing a calling to the profession is why health care workers so exceptional and a great example for the rest of society. Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” We can all learn from people like Herda. Her heart felt recognition of how important her work was as she watched Angela carried into an ambulance is exactly what we should be looking for in our lives and careers. Her experience helping others is evidence if you’re in health care or considering it, you can be sure that you will be in the right place as well.
In addition to reading the real life moments that assured the applicants that they have chosen right career, you will discover what many of them do to prepare for these moments. For example, Kayla Bellinger wrote about how she gets into the proper frame of mind before stepping into emergency situations:
As you watch your patient’s vital signs dip into the critical area you realize that you need to jump into action! Before you do anything, stop and take a deep breath. This will help you focus and prioritize as to what is important in this very moment. Without this moment you can make mistakes that could be detrimental to the patient’s health. This moment will provide you with a sense of clarity so you can go in level headed without bringing in feelings of being overwhelmed or under-prepared.
Bellinger’s story demonstrates that you can overcome the fear and anxiety in critical moments and do amazing work on a daily basis. Health care workers like Bellinger do so on a daily basis and so can you! The answer to keeping a level head is often more simple than you think: “take a deep breath”
Finally, the applicants share valuable lessons that no text book can prepare you for. Alexandra Hung wrote about an instance that completely changed her attitude and approach toward her. Her story shows us how health care work can provide some of life’s most important lessons.
Reality begins to set in as I’m about to walk into my first cardiac arrest code. I say a quick prayer and walk into the house.
Up until I worked my first code, I associated life with success and naturally, death with failure for the patients; in other words, if the patient was alive and was going to get better, then I successfully did my job. But I never thought what would happen if the patient didn’t get better and passed away.
After much time, reflection, and talking to other people who have been in similar situations as I, I learned the biggest and most important knowledge gained from this experience to prepare me in the future is the reminder that death doesn’t equate to failure.
This essay provides more than just a silver lining approach. Silver linings are as temporary as the clouds they surround. What she says afterward is a time tested and enduring principle you can carry with you throughout your career. Read on to see how to access her essay, as well as others, and learn her greatest lessons in health care.
If you are thinking about working in the health professions or already work in the health professions, you should take a look at what some of these applicants have to say. You’ll rediscover your motivation. You will learn about techniques for dealing with the emotional aspects of your career. Most importantly, you will find wisdom that can only be gained from the real life experiences of your peers in the medical field.
Take a look at some of the inspirational stories, philosophies, and resiliency techniques of health care workers who respond to daily challenges and unexpected calls to action.
Cynthia Herda – Cynthia realizes she is in the right career when casual drive becomes an extraordinary call to save lives.
Kayla Bellinger – Chaos and fatigue in the ER won’t take the air out of Bellinger’s sails. Read how she keeps cool in emergency situations.
Kylie Goodell – Goodell finds inspiration by rejoicing in the people she has helped.
Christopher Perez – Chance favors the prepared mind. Radiographer Christopher Perez recounts how his CPR training helped him save a patient during a routine exam
Alexandra Hung – Hung shares a moment that gives him strength and confidence when stepping into life and death situations.
Lindsay Mockmore/Bennett – Mockmore says that each case she works molds her character into the person she is supposed to be. Read how a specific case teaches her how to deal with the highly emotional aspects of the health care professions.