By Deborah Reed, PA-C, APC Director, West Group
As APC Director for the West Group, I work collaboratively with group leadership to provide leadership, advocacy, and representation for advanced practice clinicians within TeamHealth’s West Group. I work clinically in an APC-only staffed emergency department in a critical access hospital in Waurika, Oklahoma, as well as several emergency departments in Oklahoma City.
I’ve been an emergency medicine physician assistant for the past 16 years, but the past three years have been the most challenging. I think that is true for all of us in medicine. We have come through a defining period, not only in the history of modern medicine, but also in modern society. We have collectively experienced the gamut of emotions both personally and professionally during the COVID-19 pandemic: genuine fear, anxiety, loss of control, faith, reliance on each other, hope, perseverance, adaptation and resilience. We can all relate to experiencing different emotions on this continuum at different times.
Reaffirming Our Purpose through Challenging Times
For many people, this experience has challenged them to reevaluate their lives, priorities and ultimately their profession. This is a big contributor to the “Great Resignation” or as some industry experts describe it, “the State of Discontent,” that is happening in the United States.
I think the opposite is also true – that this collective experience has created a reliance on our teammates, fostering deeper relationships, appreciation and connectedness to our colleagues. It has reminded us that we need each other. It has reminded us that our work matters. It has opened doors for us to feel more connected emotionally to our patients. It has given us experiences that reaffirm our purpose and commitment to our profession.
Observing National Physician Assistant Week
Even in the tough times, rather, especially in the tough times, I feel committed to our profession. I realize what a privilege it is to care for patients in the midst of difficulty. Of the many lessons I’ve learned through the past three pandemic years, the most important that I’ve discovered is to have gratitude.
I love being a PA, and I am truly grateful for this meaningful work.
Happy National PA Week to the more than 2,000 PAs within TeamHealth! I am proud to have each of you as colleagues.
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