I was not looking forward to a rotation in a locked psychiatric ward during my BSN training; it was merely something to be endured to reach my goal of becoming a midwife. I found the community to be a disturbing environment but was filled with sympathy for the patients and curiosity about them as individuals, the causes of their conditions, and the treatments being provided. I knew that these people once had dreams and goals and families and friends who loved them and were desperate to have them find a way out of the mental maze in which they found themselves trapped. I wanted to help these people, and thus my career was born.
My particular interests are dementia and depression. Soon after graduating, I started working for a non-profit agency specializing in providing and coordinating care for the elderly to extend their independent lives. As a Spanish speaker, I work mainly with the aged Latino population and love doing so. Still, I have witnessed how inadequate bilingual/bicultural providers can leave vulnerable patients undertreated or even effectively abandoned. One intelligent, articulate but complex 89-year-old patient requested psychiatric and counseling care. Still, the only Spanish-speaking provider was overwhelmed with referrals, and access to help involving a translator would involve a long wait. He was ultimately placed in a locked psychiatric ward, and the courts sought guardianship to have him permanently institutionalized. It is heartbreaking to see how the shortage of suitably qualified and bilingual providers adversely affects the lives of elderly patients. This situation has compelled me to seek the specialist skills and knowledge that the program provides to be part of the solution to such problems.
The aging of the population will increase the problems that I have witnessed, and there will be an increasing need for healthcare providers to identify and implement ways of extending the independence and quality of life of the elderly. I hope to assist with research into neurotransmitters and cognitive disorders, especially dementia.
I have happily studied, worked with, and treated people of many cultural and social backgrounds, and consider myself culturally aware and sensitive. I have worked as a volunteer with the Boston Reserve Medical Corps in immunization clinics.
I am aware that the program will be very demanding. I undertake to participate actively and enthusiastically in the program and am determined to succeed. I know that the program will attract many well-qualified applicants. I have substantial experience interacting with the elderly who face the mental effects of aging. I am fully aware of the role that MSN-qualified nurses fulfill when working with the elderly. As a specialist nurse, I am passionately committed to providing culturally sensitive care to the underserved elderly in the Latinx community.