Adversity Sparks Compassion

Michele Petrucelli, A.A.S.
Aug. 4, 2015

Michele PetrucelliThe ASRT Foundation and its donors have made it possible for me to embrace life’s challenges and have inspired me to use these experiences to be a more caring radiologic technologist once I ‚Äčam certified.

It was July 2009 when my journey toward becoming an R.T. truly started. After putting my two children, then five and nine, down to sleep on hospital cots in a domestic violence homeless shelter, I went to the ladies' shower room, knelt and prayed.

Alone in a shower stall, my tears flowing, I said out loud, "What now?" The faucet was off, but a large drop of water fell on my head. As I looked up at the showerhead, another large drop fell on my forehead. I laughed. My tears stopped. I stood and right there made the decision to never stop believing that success is achievable.

Shortly thereafter, I began working as a front desk manager at a multimodality imaging center. I enjoyed assisting patients by answering any concerns they had regarding the exams. I was also able to help referring physicians by obtaining complete medical histories of their patients. However, watching the R.T.s I became fascinated with the technology and yearned for the personal interaction with the patients.

The radiologist who owned and ran the facility encouraged me to become an R.T., saying it would give me a more hands-on role in patient care. I soon enrolled in a radiography program at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey.

I am extremely grateful to have been selected as a 2014 Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarship recipient, as it has helped me remain in school while working part time. As a single mother of two honor roll students, it is a challenge balancing their activities with my coursework and work. The scholarship helped ease my financial burden so I could focus more on my children and on school.

My plan is to work in a trauma hospital once I am a certified technologist because I work best in tense situations. I feel the experience would be immeasurable in helping me further develop the patience and knowledge required to produce quality images. Also, I believe this environment would enable me to improve my skills so that I can excel at any other medical facility, and keep focused on the importance of patient-centered care.

I want to thank the Foundation donors who made this scholarship opportunity possible. Thank you for recognizing that, sometimes, humility is difficult. You must understand what struggle is in order to be generous. You must have gone through adversity to be compassionate. You must have been hungry in order to nourish. And you must have been cared for by someone in order to be humble. So thank you for embracing your struggle and passing on the blessings you've received in order for me to continue your legacy.