Jeremy Gilbert submitted 2020-06-01

As we enter young adulthood we are preached to by our community and role models to set reasonable attainable goals. In their eyes these reasonable goals involve going to university, obtaining a degree and obtaining a well paying job post graduation. We are conditioned to believe that we have to be reasonable and conservative to be successful. Often at this age role models convince us to believe our passion has always been conservative in accounting, finance, business administration or something of the sort. What about happiness? What about passions? What about purpose? Aging into young adulthood we are taught to set these reasons for seeking out a career aside. It is no wonder that a career is a thing of the past in today’s workforce. As children when did we dream about crunching numbers all day? I certainly never did but unfortunately I fell into a similar life pattern not of my own design. After high school in 2010 I could not afford to go to my school of choice to become an MRI technician and make a tangible difference helping my community when they are in desperate need of it. At this time it felt as though I had little other options so I attended business school and fell into a prefabricated life design. I excelled through business school obtaining my bachelor’s degree in three year which propelled me into the start of a successful career in business. I quickly became one of the top salesmen in my luxury car dealership with my passion for helping people. According to the life plan I fell into, I was a success. I was making the money I was preached about years before and I was quickly climbing the corporate ladder but something was missing. The passion I had for helping people was hardly getting stimulated by a career driven by profit. A change was needed. The next few years I explored various career paths inching ever closer to a career where I could make a meaningful difference. Each step inched me incrementally closer but it took time and some deep reflection to realize that each of these steps had a medical or life saving component to it though it was masked by the primary job duties. In 2019 on a two month long rock climbing trip with my future wife I had a revelation. During this trip I reflected on my recent experience tending to my fiance’s battle with the flu. I realized my wilderness first responder and acute patient experience allowed me to help her overcome one of the worst sicknesses of her life. Reflecting on this surrounded by the grand views of Ten Sleep canyon, Wyoming I knew my path was in nursing. Nursing is the rewarding path that would allow me to make a tangible difference helping my community one person at a time. After returning from our trip I set out to work from the ground up. Within days I signed up for a licensed nursing assistant program that put me at ground level. A few months later I graduated at the top of my program and obtained my license days later. Copious amounts of research led me to applying to a position in the Heart and Vascular Interventional Unit at Catholic Medical center. The appeal to this unit in particular was the type of patients I would be helping. My primary roles would be preparing patients for their minimally invasive heart procedures and helping them recover after their procedures. The types of procedures varied from types of valve replacements to cardiac catheterizations to ablations. When learning about the duties of this position I knew it was the place I was meant to be. Twenty years ago when I was nine years-old I had an experimental catheter ablation instead of the typical open heart surgery to correct a condition known as wolff parkinson white syndrome that I was born with. When I was only a boy I had the same type of procedure that many of my future patients would have. I knew this was the place and path for me. My life was coming full circle. At the time I started this position I enrolled in nursing school to become a registered nurse. My classes gave me the knowledge to educate patients and my own medical history built a real connection with all my patients. All of this not only further stimulated my interest in the subject but combined with my work ethic and practicing my theory that care continues beyond medicine to connecting with people propelled me quickly into a promotion. After four short months I was promoted to an LNA II and monitor tech. I now interpret and monitor heart rhythms for all of my unit’s patients along with providing the same people based care. My passion in my work and in my schooling continues to get stronger. I have found my calling. Now I do not want to stop at becoming a registered nurse but I will continue on to earn my BSN before I tackle the Family Nurse Practitioner master’s degree through Rivier University. The end goal is to become a nurse practitioner for a cardiology team at a local hospital. As a nurse practitioner I will have the technical skills, the responsibility and power to help save peoples’ lives in the same compassionate way my life was saved by the experts that navigated my procedure twenty years ago.