College in its self is a difficult task… Especially as an adult. Not everyone can do college right after High school. Some people might not be ready, can’t afford it or maybe they just missed too many deadlines. I can say in my case it was a combination of them all. Luckily I was blessed with the opportunity to get in to the military’s Interservice Physician Assistant Program attending the University of Nebraska. Let me tell you… It’s PA school on steroids.
You get your Bachelor in Science in sixteen months of death by powerpoint. Days are long and every fifty minutes you get about ten minutes to stretch your legs. Some days it’s a toss up between stretching your legs, taking a nap, or studying for the next test. Test days you mostly crash on breaks because, for most, getting up at two in the morning to cram equals a passing grade. When you walk across the stage and look back the last sixteen months you wonder how you made it because you don’t even remember what happened the last year of your life. All you remember is medical terms, conditions and disturbing pictures, but you’re happy to be on your way to the Masters part of the program.
Yay! you think when you realize its no more death by power point, but wait… Now it’s patient care. I’m not foreign to patient care, but it’s different when you have someone staring at you, judging your every word. This person has the power to make or break your rotation and all you can think about is surviving. At some point in time you get comfortable with your preceptor, but now it’s onto the next section. Working, studying, writing, researching and presentations is now what you must do. Feeling tired and maybe a little burnt out? Not yet lady you have to a family and goals.
It might sound like a nightmare, but at the end of it all you stand tall and proud knowing that you were resilient enough to battle through it all. Carving out time for school, kids and training. While in this program I trained for three competitions, went pro while getting my Bachelors degree, did my pro debut, and parented solo (hubby was deployed) while getting my Masters. Was it hard? HECK YES! But like I always say… If I can YOU CAN!