Current Position: Radiation Therapist, Astera Cancer Care
Elyse attended Notre Dame High School, a Catholic school in New Jersey. She always knew she wanted to do something in healthcare but didn’t pinpoint the exact field until about the end of her junior year.
Around that time, she accompanied a family member to their radiation treatments, where she took note of the compassion and care offered by the radiation therapists. She knew then she wanted to do the same.
Today, as a radiation therapist, Elyse recommends this career path to those with similar aspirations.
“I think students who possess the passion to help cancer patients during their difficult path of care should pursue a career in radiation therapy. It’s satisfying to put a smile on the faces of the patients as you give them quality care and comfort,” Elyse said.
She also loved that GMercyU’s program offered four different clinical locations. “It helped me gain the experience I needed to get a job right out of college,” Elyse said.
During her clinicals, Elyse said, the interaction she had with patients confirmed her choice of career.
In the classroom, Rose Troutman, MS, RT, (T), Assistant Professor and Program Director of GMercyU's Radiation Therapy program, and Chris Hand were two of Elyse’s favorite professors.
“Rose went above and beyond to help all of us during all four of our years at GMercyU. Even when we were going through lockdown during the Covid pandemic, Rose was there to support us every step of the way. I always felt like she had our back,” Elyse said.
“Chris Hand, our Physics professor, went out of his way to prepare us for the boards, which was a huge help. Although he worked crazy hours, he still dedicated time towards helping us in all areas of the exam,” she said.
During her time at GMercyU, Elyse was inducted into the Lambda Nu and Alpha Eta honor societies. She graduated summa cum laude.
A Typical Day as a Radiation Therapist
After graduation, Elyse secured a job at Astera Cancer Center in New Jersey, where she provides radiation therapy treatments to about 40 cancer patients per day.
“My typical day consists of greeting patients, escorting them into the treatment room, explaining the care they will receive, and making them comfortable as best as I can,” Elyse said. “Sometimes simple gestures such as warm blankets, small talk, or even music will help them relax and get their mind off of their cancer treatment. I work on a Varian Truebeam linear accelerator, where we treat all different areas of the body, from head to toe.”