Radiation Therapy: Being a Light
Erica Pusateri, Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy ’24, was recently selected for the competitive Student to Leadership Development Program offered by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). Selected from a pool of national applicants, she will participate in the 2022 ASRT Educational Symposium and Annual Governance and House of Delegates Meeting. Pusateri will be in Orlando for the meeting from June 22-26.
Through the three-year ASRT program, Pusateri will have an opportunity to attend educational sessions and network with medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.
“I’ve always been someone in the backseat role, listening to others,” Pusateri said. “At MCPHS, I’ve pivoted into a leadership role and transitioned to the front seat. The ASRT program has definitely allowed me to accept the front-seat role and enjoy being in that position.”
In the ASRT program, Pusateri will be paired with a mentor and attend courses in governance overview, parliamentary procedures and advocacy, strategic planning, legal issues and affiliate compliance, association management and communication, and leadership principles. She has also started networking with radiologists throughout the country and learning about new developments in the field.
The Path to Radiation Therapy
While Pusateri was a student at UC Santa Barbara, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she moved back to Cape Cod to be with her family. Not too long after, her father was also diagnosed with cancer and she spent most of her days at the hospital because both her parents were undergoing radiation treatments.
“I was in and out of the oncology department very often, and I found that the radiation therapists were incredibly helpful to both of my parents,” she said. “They were a light in our lives. I want to be that for other people.”
After her father passed away, she decided to apply to the Radiation Therapy program at MCPHS, close to home. Pusateri has enjoyed studying at a smaller university.
“I love how united our program is,” she said. “There are 12 of us. At any point in the day, I can text any of my 11 classmates and get help immediately. I love that aspect.”
She has also witnessed the commitment that MCPHS has towards student success.
“Professor Jonathan Dean and Professor Brian Freeman are some of the most influential people I’ve ever met, and they truly want us to succeed,” she said. “They don’t just want us to pass our boards. They also want us to have a good life and enjoy what we are doing. It’s important to have a good support system as a student.”
Volunteer Work at a Senior Center
Starting in the summer of 2022, Pusateri will also begin volunteering at the Sunrise Senior Living facility in Peabody with other members of her class. The partnership with Sunrise offers students a unique opportunity for direct patient interaction prior to clinical rotations.
“Students will be completing 10 volunteer hours in all areas of the Sunrise development to help them obtain critical patient interaction skills,” said Associate Professor and Program Director of Radiation Therapy Kelly Ebert, MPA, RT (T). “We anticipate students will read to patients, deliver meals, help with meals, plan activities, participate in activities and help out anywhere else there is a need.”
An avid listener, Pusateri loves hearing people’s stories because it reminds her of why she chose to pursue a career as a radiation therapy technologist.
“It’s humbled me a lot…just listening to people’s stories and what they faced,” she said. “It’s a reminder that there are always people that are going through more difficult situations than you. Let that are going through more difficult situations than you.”