Although Susan Bertellotti aspired to be a teacher, she worked in business for many years.
During this time, both of her younger brothers faced life-threatening medical conditions, and helping care for them led Bertellotti in a new direction.
“One brother had cancer and another had an accident that nearly took his life. Helping take them for treatments, watching what they went through and observing how the level of patient care they received affected their days piqued my interest in the medical field,” she said. “I wanted to be that person who made a positive difference in someone’s day when they were at their worst.”
Upon deciding to pursue her education again, Bertellotti researched many different medical fields and found radiography to be the best fit.
“I loved the constant patient interaction and the hands-on, fast-paced environment. I liked the fact that I would work independently much of the time but also would be part of a team in diagnostic imaging,” she said. “Working throughout the hospital in the emergency department, surgery, neonatal unit and critical care, to name a few, was also a plus for me. The more I could see and do, the more I would develop professionally. There were many avenues to explore in the different imaging disciplines post-graduation. The possibilities seemed endless and they almost are. I was also intrigued by the technology aspect as it is ever-changing, so there was a lot of room for growth and development.”
Bertellotti attended College of DuPage and completed the Radiography and Mammography programs. She then worked at Edward Hospital for 17 years, first as a staff radiologic technologist and for 12 years as a radiology clinical instructor. She also worked on-call for several years in forensic radiology and part-time for six years in mammography.
But it was the desire to teach that ultimately drew her to College of DuPage.
“I had an amazing group of professors at COD in Jeff Papp, Gina Carrier, Pam Jankovsky and Paul Laudicina. They inspired me to do my best and to represent my profession on a higher level,” she said. “To have educators and mentors such as them guided me to teaching. I could help send forth new individuals who would be dedicated and caring professionals. Teaching affords me to not only keep up with current trends but also to share my knowledge and experience with the future generation of radiologic technologists and mammographers.
In the past, Bertellotti was inspired by her patients, some of whom were facing challenging times in their lives but took the time to thank her. Now she is inspired by her students.
“I see them grasping concepts that were so foreign at the beginning of the course,” she said. “I enjoy watching them grow, develop confidence and, as they progress, seeing them acknowledge all they have learned and learned well. It is also very rewarding when we receive feedback from their clinical sites about what compassionate, caring, professional individuals they are. That is inspiring!”