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MS, Health Studies, Certified Health Education

When I entered into Nursing Education, I envisioned direct patient contact, and a chance to help patients be active participants in the healing process.  My passion for my work was more than just youthful energy, or idealism, I truly believed and still believe in the effectiveness of patient teaching.  For three years as a professional RN, I wrestled with my desire to impact patients’ level of involvement in their own health, and on the other hand, drew from a Nursing education that only briefly touched upon learning theory.  Moreover, there are many practical concerns, such as nurse shortages, challenging caseloads, realities that leave little time for patient teaching.

 Taking time away from my Nursing career, and raising a child, I kept active, operating my own home-based business.  In truth, I have had a great deal of time to reassess my life’s path, and decided that Health Studies was a choice that spoke to who I am, a better fit for how I want to serve the community.  Moreover, I want to be a role model for my child, to show that you must always pursue your dreams, and that with hard work and faith, you can achieve them and more.

 Becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist has become my goal, indeed, my dream.  Nurses do share knowledge, however, through the Graduate Health Studies program, I will be better equipped to empower and spark patients’ inspiration to make positive, sustainable changes in their lives.  More specifically, I am eager to increase my depth of understanding of not just health promotion, but also Diabetes prevention.  Upon earning my CHES, I anticipate offering my services within a non-profit or state agency, actively engaged in the design, implementation and evaluation of community health and wellness programs.

 To prepare for the opportunity and challenge of the Health Studies Program, I have been working this past year as a Health Screener for Summit Health and have enjoyed the preventative medicine approach of the job.  Where I feel the work falls short is in the lack of follow-up on assessment, how the screening and counseling has affected a person’s overall health, as well as a lack of applying theories of learning to meet the unique needs of individuals and specific groups, such as Spanish speakers.  Indeed, growing up in Laredo, Texas, in a bilingual family, and largely Latino community, I am fluent in not only Spanish, but also the Hispanic/Latino-American experience, making me more sympathetic to the specific needs of this growing demographic.

 I bring with me to the Health Studies program, professional healthcare experiences as well as a solid foundation in Nursing education and current Health Studies BS.  Health Studies has proven that I also enjoy and am proficient in researching and writing about health and wellness.  Additionally, as an effective RN, I worked within multidisciplinary medical teams, a skill and love of teamwork that will translate well to the graduate program, one in which I anticipate many opportunities for collaboration and projects. 

 As a part of my BSN, I participated in a community Diabetes awareness health fair.  Something within me changed that day.  As I answered visitors’ questions and shared foot-care information, I was not just practicing my ability to “translate” medical jargon into language people are more familiar with, I was making a difference, so much so that afterwards I continued volunteering in other health fairs, well beyond what was required of my academic program.

 As a working mom, I appreciate the convenience of UX’s online Health Studies program.  While study time would have been harder to come by in a traditional format, I have made arrangements in my life that accommodate my pursuit of further development.  Additionally, the Health Studies program at UX emphasizes preparing students not just for the work they will be doing post-graduation, but also their CHES exams.  I look forward to participating within UX’s Graduate Health Studies Program with great eagerness.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

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