South Dakota R.T. Reaches Out With Donation From the Front Lines of Patient Care

Oct. 22, 2015

Beth Weber fishingNo matter how many credentials a radiographer, sonographer, mammographer, radiation therapist or other R.T. earns along the way, each one starts out with a desire to make a difference in patients’ lives, like Beth L. Weber, M.P.H, R.T.(R), RDMS, CRA, FASRT, of South Dakota.

In committing to assist with the goals and dreams of others like her, Beth started out volunteering wholeheartedly with both state and national organizations. Now, years later, she is a lifetime member of the South Dakota Society of Radiologic Technologists (SDSRT).

“Being a volunteer has offered me so many friendships and experiences I would never have had if I hadn’t agreed to serve as an alternate ultrasound delegate of Region IV at a national meeting,” says Beth. “The more I learn about the structure of the ASRT and how your voice really is heard, the more I want to learn and share with others.”

This enthusiasm for the profession and making a difference through service grew as Beth discovered that “situations are not specific to my workplace, the state of South Dakota or even the United States, which motivates me to be part of the discussion and offer solutions.”

Pursuit of a Career and an Emphasis on Patient Care

In 1975, she started to build on the skills her credentials represent when she was accepted into the McKennan Hospital School of Radiologic Technology in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The McKennan school was one of three schools she applied to after a family friend — a nurse — suggested she look into radiography. To research the profession, Beth contacted the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists to ask about local facilities.

“If I had known about the ASRT Foundation when I first got into the field, I probably would have sought a scholarship and enrolled in a formal sonography program,” says Beth. “I chose sonography because the discipline fascinated me. It’s a field that combines the art and science of diagnostic imaging, along with the knowledge and skills needed to care for patients.”

Ever moving forward in her commitment to patients and the profession, Beth ultimately earned her master’s degree in public health. Advancements in ultrasound technology continue to expand the quality of image detail and aid in diagnosis, which keeps her engaged in the field. Beth also appreciates her initial on-the-job training, along with the mentors that she met along the way and the friendships she formed in choosing the field.

Inspirational Individuals

In the McKennan program, radiologist Robert DeClark and program instructor Fonda Kavanaugh “were inspirational in keeping me engaged in school and learning new technology. Dr. DeClark had a way of teaching by sharing stories or case reviews that you could never forget.”

After graduating from the program, Beth started as a staff technologist at the hospital and continued her involvement in local professional organizations. She credits Allen Croat and Sharon Wartenbee, both SDSRT life members and active ASRT volunteers, with inspiring her ongoing involvement in the national organization.

“Today I continue to be involved to perpetuate the accomplishments of past leaders while encouraging other technologists to get involved for our future,” she says. “Investing in the ASRT Foundation provides opportunities through scholarships or research grants. I experienced financial constraints while obtaining my college degrees, so my inspiration is to lessen the strains of someone else who has an opportunity to make a professional difference. Toward that end, I believe investing and contributing to the professional foundation is the right thing to do.”

Beth’s donation to the ASRT Foundation is unrestricted, “because I believe the money needs to go where it will make the biggest difference.” Those areas include research, outreach and scholarships.

Reflecting on a career of moving the profession forward, her tongue-in-cheek response is that she always intended to leave Sioux Falls and work elsewhere, “but apparently, 40 years later the only thing that has changed is me.”