2018 AMRI Scholarship Program by Stacy Slater
Author: Stacy Slater
School: University of Houston at Sugar Land
Area of Study: Second Degree BSN (Accelerated)
The field of healthcare remains the most imperative sectors in our society, given the fragility and longevity of life here on earth. It is precious and quite short, and the depravity of life-care specialists calls on this next generation to dive deep and adopt the life of healthcare practitioners. I’ve been called to serve this generation, not only, but those before me and those following, as I’ve dreamed to partake in multi-generational care for years to come. I aspire to become a Registered Nurse, a compassionate caregiver, a loving companion, a trusted co-worker, and a saving grace to spirits, bodies, and minds in a healthcare setting. It is important to me that I tend to patients with empathic and wise attention while also exceeding the expectation of what being a nurse entails. I aspire to heal, to hope in, and to help the hurting and their loved ones.
Making the Leap from Science Nerd to Healthcare Enthusiast
I took my first job out of college at a start-up medical device company, based up in the Northeast. As a biology major, I was a science nerd, and I loved owning it; however, I really had no definite plan following graduation. This device company was more than appealing to me upon first glance. I would be a technical associate working in the operating room, assisting in cases that specifically used my CO2 laser, a highly-precise cutting device used primarily in ENT, GYN, and neurosurgery cases. Talk about COOL! I was shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the brightest surgeons and nurses in my accounts, absolutely loving every second of my time there in the hospitals and surgery centers. It was then that I realized, not only was this job out-of-this-world awesome, but it gave me the direction I was missing as a recent college graduate and passionate scientist.
This position allowed me to work in tandem with healthcare professionals, as well as hospital management and sterilization/decontamination units. What an experience it was, to say the very least. Watching with my own two eyes I witnessed a diagnostic laparoscopy/endometriosis resection that allowed a pregnancy to become viable. I watched as this miracle of healthcare made dreams come true and changed the lives of those suffering. I fell in love with the idea of taking care of patients and knew from then on I belonged in healthcare.
Persevering Through Personal Adversity
Then, a drastic change came along. I have suffered from deep depression and anxiety this past year and a half. It resulted from PTSD, following a traumatic experience that occurred in college as I worked towards my undergraduate degree. I struggled with my place in this world, regretted the decisions that led up to and followed that traumatic experience, then neglected all that I was brought up to be to the present. I feared the life I was living was sending me into the same “ditch” I found myself in that led to total destruction. I was flaccid and pained. This personal season was when I learned my physical body was not the only “instrument” of disease. I realized it was important to also focus on my mental health.
I decided to face my fears and work diligently through hours of therapy, devoting time to mindfulness and meditation, while sparing minutes to continue to keep pushing through the mud and muck of truth, lies, and perspective. It wasn’t until I committed 150+ hours in my therapist’s office that I began to regain fluid thought streams and liveliness, and see my emotions reemerge over the course of my day. It was painful, it was gruesome, but through the power of prayer, and countless hours of focusing and preparing for transformation and ultimate deliverance, I am resurfacing. I am regaining my self-worth, confidence, and passion for life and for love. Not only was this process difficult for me, but for my family, as well. They had to endure days of silence, tears, and backlashing.
...and Hurricane Harvey
During my journey toward recovery, Hurricane Harvey pressed on towards the Gulf Coast, sending Houston, Texas into panic. This deadly hurricane rummaged through the fourth largest city in the United States and not only did it affect the millions of people in the area, it affected my world and my closest loved ones. I would have never guessed that I’d be affected the way that I was, and it ignited in me a strong desire to turn my attention to others who were in dire need. There was transformation that was taking place in my heart as I watched millions of people lose goods, homes, loved ones, and some even losing their lives. Houston's natural "breakdown" trumped my personal "breakdown’’. It was one of the first times I felt alive, affected, and moved to be more than a body and brains. I found rebirth and renewal, ironically in the midst of local devastation.
I joined in with Woodlands Church, a workforce in community and global missions and service, to provide the time and energy I had, apart from therapy and personal reconstruction, in order to save those hurting elsewhere. We went hand-in-hand to multiple homes in the northern and northeast parts of the city. We were baffled and shocked at the destruction of Harvey - to the point of tears on most occasions. We turned our dropped jaws into working hands and feet as we raced against time, demolishing homes and, in turn, memories and mementos of the homeowners' most prized possession: the hearth. Those affected hurt as they watched their homes become nothing but cement and wood. We hurt as they watched, but we pressed on in the wake of their losses.
In the middle of this heartbreak, I found revival. Revival within homes and within hearts - even after heartbreak. It allowed me to reflect again on where I was on my personal journey, and this turn of events, that struck even people that I love, brought about a new perspective and a new belonging to my purpose. My purpose is to bring healing and hope to others. I want my practice as a registered nurse to help those who are hurt, at a loss, and affected traumatically. I also want to bring comfort to their loved ones. My journey through mental strife happened for one very good reason: rediscovery of my mental strength for the strength of others.
Using ACLS Skills to Heal Patients Around the World
With the development of ACLS skills, I will have the ability to serve the community in a way I haven’t yet before. I will begin schooling in January of 2018 and will conclude my studies in December. I have the benefit of accelerating my school work in order to begin practicing as a Registered Nurse. I am delighted to have the opportunity to join a nursing family that spans worldwide, and to be optimistic, I’d hope to encounter peers who share the same interest in practicing globally.
I have a very passionate heart for travel and exploration. My father is a commercial airline pilot and my brother, a pilot at the age of twenty years old; my love for exploring and exhilaration runs in the family. I want to embark on an adventure throughout parts of the world that struggle fiscally, socially, and are the focal points of health precautions. We, the citizens of the United States, are extremely gifted in opportunity to seek out health practitioners when health precautions arise. We live stably, justly, and our resources are vast. Other parts of the world cannot say the same, and I live knowing I have the ability to help with my own two hands and feet.
A Bright Future in Nursing
In five years, I hope to have years of nursing experience in Acute Care and MedSurg. I want to grow into Trusted Co-worker, Established Professional, and Dependable Resource for patients and peers alike. I, however, will take advantage of the first years to absorb highly sought after experiences to ensure a proactive and fulfilling few years as a Registered Nurse.
In 10 years, I want to deliver my heart and hope to the world. As easy as it is to put this to paper, I would be naive to think it will be an easy feat. I see myself reaching new heights and making other countries my home as means of providing the best patient care to those who don’t have the availability of professional healthcare specialists. I believe my work in nursing will be used predominately in missions work because there cannot be enough nurses to serve the ill and weary. This past year and a half has given me a new perspective on mental health, and it will continue to show me how to utilize the skills I’ve been accustomed to throughout this personal rollercoaster.
In 15 years, I pray to have impacted thousands of lives as my journey towards a healthier world gains momentum and flourishes. Because I foresee great growth in my field, I want to consider more schooling in efforts to drive the healthcare field to becoming even more advanced and effective for a world that is changing drastically. Nurse Education or Nurse Anesthesia are both options, but I am also keeping an open mind. While turning my attention back to the academic playground, I plan on gaining more skills to proactively help manage, deliver, and promise exemplary patient care. I have always loved learning, even in the simplest of ways (that being another reason why I have found a future in nursing). In fifteen years, I hope to portray to my loved ones, my neighbors, my community, and my country what nursing means to me and why I do what I love.
This journey I am about to embark on is going to change my life. After committing this past year to other life change, I have never felt more aggressive in my plan of action. I want to serve the community in the best way possible. I want to establish accessible healthcare and administer care around the world. I want to believe in the beauty of a profession and continue my education in efforts of better understanding in the field and a better focus on the future of nursing. It is this group of people that truly make the biggest different in the world. No hurricane can permanently shatter the hearts and minds of a city. No power can isolate the pain from the purpose. No disease can expel the truest character from any single individual. There are trials and torments taking place at every corner. It is Now to act, to influence, to heal, to bridge, and to believe in the beauty of all dreams. That is what it’s taken to land me at a profession that I can call my home - no matter where I am in the world. I am privileged to have the ability to take these next steps in order to have an impact on physically distressed, mentally distressed or, simply, hurting people. My name is Stacy Slater, and I have the power to strengthen what is within me and what is around me. I have found nursing as my home!
Iwould be honored to be a recipient of the American Medical Resource Institution scholarship. It already is a huge privilege to be considered for this notable achievement. Thank you for your time and energy in consideration on my behalf. This financial assistance would help me to succeed without having the added stress about future payments and loan reimbursements. It would bring about a new energy and devotion of time to strictly studies and expanding my knowledge without the burden and hassle of figuring finances. This is just the beginning of my long, devout journey in nursing, and I could not be more ready, nor more excited, to share in this with the American Medical Resource Institution. It is with great pride that I step forward with all the confidence that is within me to help the hurting, heal the broken, and believe in the beauty of others’ dreams, too. Thank you.