Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Undergraduate school and degree: East Carolina University, BS Public Health
Patient Care Experience: Birth Doula, Personal Care Aide in Assisted Living, Optometrist Assistant, and Retina Ophthalmic Assistant
Favorite Place in Portland: Miss Delta for whenever I need a taste of the Southeast =). Margarita Factory in Beaverton is my secret hiding spot shhhh!
Transitioning from didactic to clinical year has been a whirlwind experience. We had about one month to “transition” our minds to what to expect in the clinical year including how to scrub in for surgical procedures, perform punch and shave biopsies, suturing, performing a proper knee injection, and how to splint and cast extremities. I’m pretty sure we were all nervous for our first day in the clinic as most of us had not done anything remotely close to those before.
My first two rotations were in primary care and so I was expected to resolve whatever nervousness I had from transition month quickly. During my very first week, I participated in a vasectomy and a shave biopsy of a seborrheic keratosis complete with doing a lidocaine + epinephrine block. Nervous at first, I just remembered words that I’ve heard for most of my life: fake it ’til you make it. Although I didn’t feel ready, I had to trust the process in that the Physician Assistant program has prepared me well. There has been no better feeling than performing a procedure and a patient say it didn’t hurt or “that was the best shot I ever had.” I now have confidence that I can totally do this.
While we’re all working hard in clinic, I still strive to make a point to continue my efforts to diversify the PA profession. I love participating in the virtual admissions sessions so that persons of color, specifically Black applicants, can see themselves represented and feel comfortable asking questions. I have also elevated my status in the AAPA as I am now a member of the Leadership & Diversity Student Committee Board which provides me with an opportunity to advocate for diversity on a national level. My goal has always been the same: to take my PA knowledge from OHSU along with patient experiences to make legislative change in order to disrupt healthcare disparities for all disenfranchised communities. I am confident that I am headed in the right direction.
Whether I am transitioning from didactic to clinic year or from local to national roles, I noticed that I was nervous at first. Being nervous initially is good- you have the ability to be taught and you’re more cautious when it comes to things that affect others. The key is to replace that nervousness with confidence. Once that is achieved, there’s nothing you can’t do.