Making a Difference - My Family Travels

My name is Staci Dunneback and I am a senior at Sparta High School in Michigan. I am an athlete, an active family member, and a positive influence among my peers and student body. I am and have been a member of several community service committees affiliated with my school and the rotary club. Whether I am coaching, tutoring, or mentoring I try my hardest to display leadership. I have strived to be the best at everything I do. I love helping people as well. That is why I have built most of my life so far around being of assistance to my community to the best of my ability. I have figured out my talents and am now ready to give my assistance to more than just my community. That is why I have decided to investigate the medical field as a potential career. I keep myself busy with academics and athletics during the school year and believe it or not, the summer as well.

During the beginning of my summer I raised money to begin my investigation. On August 3, 2009, I flew by myself for the first time to visit my aunt in Dallas, Texas. While I was excited to see her, I had to get down to business at the same time. As a Nurse Practitioner in the Operating Room, she had a lot of recourses aid me in my quest for my future decisions I would be making. I was there for two weeks and learned more than I ever imagined I would.

My first day on the job, I had spent the entire day with a nurse anesthetist. I was able to observe, and ask questions. Although witnessing the surgery was very intriguing, I wanted to try and understand all of the requirements of the nurse’s job. I had asked about wages, schooling, and her likes/dislikes. By the end of the day, I had ruled out that position. I had realized that I wanted more one-on-one time with the patient.

Throughout the two weeks at Presbyterian Hospital in the heart of Dallas, I had witnessed some very complex and interesting surgeries; realizing every day, more and more that I wanted to be able to have more of a relationship with the patient. I thought it was great what was taking place in the operating room but I wanted more than “putting the patient under and making incisions.” I told my aunt this and the next day I was paired up to follow a Physician Assistant.

That day started out great and only got better as it went on. I was able to “shadow” her work, but I also was privileged enough to ask questions and get honest answers. The amount of patient involvement was perfect. A physician assistant, I came to find out, allows tons of freedom and flexibility to move about in the medical field.

My trip to Texas was fortunate, successful, and very beneficial. Flying back to Michigan, all I could think about was telling my mom about everything I learned. Now I am applying to colleges to help me further me education. I am determined to get myself into the medical setting. My goal is to become a physician assistant in 6 years. I am of a low income family and am going to struggle financially in college, but I will not let that stop me on my journey to make a difference. 

Thank You for your time – Staci Dunneback



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