Overcoming Adversity

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On June 3rd, 2016, Michelle Obama delivered her last commencement address as the First Lady of the United States at the City College of New York. She spoke about the importance of diversity, and the obstacles the graduates might have faced in their journey as undergraduates. She encouraged them, emphasizing that their "experience facing and overcoming adversity is acutally one of [their] biggest advantages." Because of their experiences, the graduates have "developed the resilience and the maturity" in order to "keep moving forward." Even though she did not deliver this speech at my alma mater, thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to listen to her speak. And, since my application to medical school had just been rejected at around …show more content…

I applied for a patient care tech position at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock to gain some new insights into the field--a job that I was previously unable to take on as a full time undergraduate student with two part time jobs. I learned--and I am still learning--as much as I could every day by watching the nurses and volunteering myself for new tasks. The possibility of making mistakes has not deterred me because I know that in order to be great, I have to make some mistakes along the way. Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with people who have never been reluctant to help and to teach me. Every day I go to work, I meet wonderful people, much like you and I, whose lives are suddenly put on pause. Depending on their condition, these pauses can be brief and uneventful, or they can be long and heartbreaking (literally and figuratively). Most people would probably say that their hardest days are when the majority of their patients are higher acuity patients. And, those are days are difficult, both emotionally and …show more content…

It was hard, and it is still hard, to watch somebody deteriorate, and to watch their family members watch them deteriorate. However, one of the hardest days I have had at work was when my current unit admitted a few patients from an adult care facility that was shut down due to reports of abuse and neglect. I had the pleasure of working with a gentleman who was admitted for malnutrition. I went into his room at the beginning of the shift to introduce myself and to take his morning vitals. During shift change, the night patient care tech mentioned that he had trouble speaking due to a stroke that occured a few years ago. However, I did not expect his speech to be completely unintelligible. He tried his absolute best to talk me. He motioned frantically with his hands and tried to talk louder, thinking that it would help. I apologized because I could not understand him. Eventually, he started to cry out of frustration--and probably also out of fear and despair. His clothes were covered in stains and crumbs, and he smelled like he had not bathed in days. It broke my

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