Sarah Westerman is proof that setbacks can be educational.
Previous injuries led to plenty of X-ray and MRI exposures, which sparked her interest in radiology. As that interest began to grow, she would ask the radiology technologists questions about what they were doing, learning all the while.
Now, she's in her second year at Weatherford College, preparing for a career in the very same field that helped her overcome those injuries.
"They were so kind to explain everything and encourage me," Westerman said. "Even in my time at A&M, opportunities came along that assured me I was on the right path."
Westerman, a 2014 graduate of Southlake Carroll High School, received her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M as an allied health major. This degree is considered pre-professional, meaning there are elective options added into the required courses for those looking to further their education in the health field, which she was.
"I have been passionate about radiology since high school, so this major allowed me the opportunity to explore that field further, prior to coming to Weatherford," she said.
With a limited number of accredited schools in Texas that offer radiology, Westerman said what set WC apart was the campus and the staff.
"Throughout the application and admission process everyone was extremely kind, and you could tell they all genuinely cared," she said. "I have been fortunate to attend some wonderful schools, and Weatherford College seemed like the perfect place to prepare me for a successful career in radiology.
"My career goals seem to be changing, but my passion for radiology has only grown stronger since attending Weatherford College. That’s what I love about this field, though, there are so many avenues to take and grow in. The opportunities are endless with all of the different imaging modalities."
Her friend and fellow student in radiology, Emily Ashbrook, said she sees a successful career ahead for Westerman, not only because she is intelligent and passionate, but because she works to help others reach that level as well.
"Sarah is top of our 2020 radiology class and is always willing to help anyone with anything. I can see Sarah being very successful and going onto bigger things such as CT and Radiation Therapy degrees and becoming a department head," Ashbrook said. "Sarah’s strongest quality—it’s hard to pick just one—but I would think it would be her accountability and honesty."
Another classmate and friend, Hunter Dworsky, said Westerman’s greatest quality is her confidence
"Whenever I have a question about something in class or at clinic, I can go to her and trust that I am getting good information,” Dworsky said. “She looks out for everybody, not only her patients but her fellow students as well. This has allowed a healthy competitive spirit between us that drives me to be a better student.”
Though she has family members in the health industry, Westerman will be the first in her family to enter radiology. Her reason is simple. She wants to help others in the same way she was helped.
"I absolutely love to learn and use critical thinking. Radiology allows me to continue growing and expanding my knowledge, which in turn allows me to impact people," she said. "I hope to use my degree to bring peace and comfort to patients who may find their health issues daunting. It’s those little moments throughout the journey of healing that can make all the difference."
by Rick Mauch