It was Kait who first asked me if working with her as an ICT or In-Class Transcriber was distracting me from my dream of being a practitioner in the world of medicine. A few days later, JB asked me if I was a doctor yet… “or a doctor’s pal – you know, the one who helps people when the doctor is busy or away.”
It is the subject of conversation when meeting up with parents of the kids classmates. They remember that I was attending classes, but not what for and the conversation thankfully moves onto catching up to what we have each been up to since the last school event that brought us together.
I am a thinker, a tinker-er and a problem solver. I am dogged and don’t give up, and that is perhaps why I am one of the few ICT’s at work that is regularly scheduled to cover engineering and other similarly complex subjects or graduate level courses.
Recently I covered for one of my co-workers to scribe a class on the fundamentals of physiology, and I was so drawn into the material that I felt a renewed passion for my dream, my outlandish goal.
When the class was done, and I finished my notes, I experienced a deep sadness and a realization that I will never be a Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner or even a Child Life Specialist. I am able to gain employment as a Certified Nurses Assistant, which is a certification I earned over one winter break during the quick CNA Bootcamp. (It was so fast and demanding that the moto should have been, ‘If we can’t kick your ass, no one can!’)
If I’m really honest though, I’m not physically able to work for any length of time as a CNA. My body has begun paying it’s penance for the hard labor and long demanding hours of my youth. My mind would wander and my soul would fade at the long hours and demanding work. Eventually the care I would pass along to my patients would not be up to par with what they needed or what I find acceptable.
I’ve mourned the loss of this journey, and could not find my way past the sadness until one clandestined event.
Over the years I’ve volunteered with various departments of the hospital here in River City. Whether it was working in the Emergency Department assisting patients or distracting children while their parents listened to doctor’s prognosis, comforted worried family members, or in the waiting room where I often assisted the lost in finding the right floor or room of a friend or loved one, or worked through the precise and exacting details of a past file for research purposes, it has all been done in the hopes that someone benefited from my efforts and that it might lead to something greater.
When the hospital underwent a significant upgrade in software infrastructure, I and one other volunteer were the lone attendees of a training session on a portion of the program specific to the research we were collecting.
After explaining to Jane what my current career was, and how I’d once worked towards the dream of a professional degree in medicine, Jane commented that I seemed sad about not being able to be able to pursue medicine.
She didn’t futz around with her thoughts. “Anyone can be a PA or Doctor. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry. Not everyone can do what you are doing. Not everyone has the ability or interest to sit through those lectures just to make sure that another student could follow their dreams. That’s something to be proud of.” And then she went back to grumbling at the computer. “I really hate technology.”
I’d never thought of my life from that perspective. But with that one fleeting conversation, I no longer mourn the loss of a career in medicine. That time is done.
Instead I’ve embraced the challenges and opportunities of being an ICT. Where once I was the only one in the classroom, now there are 15 of us on the team. We each have our own stories, talents, and dreams. Among our passions tho, is a shared thirst for knowledge and a drive to help others.
My dreams have come true, it just took a long time to get here, and to wake up and see that I truly am living a dream far better than any I’d imagined before.