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5 Q’s with Nicole Westergaard

5 Q’s with Nicole Westergaard

Nicole Westergaard, BSRT(R)(T) is a radiation therapy manager at the SCCA Proton Therapy Center. She began her career in radiology as an x-ray technician and has now been a radiation therapist for more than 14 years.  Nicole is very involved patients at the Center, often meeting with them from the point of consult all the way through the completion of treatment. She grew up in the Midwest but has had the opportunity to work in a variety of different locations including the UK. Nicole has a 5 year old daughter named Mili who enjoys visiting the Center and playing with “Mommy’s work friends.” 

What is your role at the Center?

As the radiation therapy manager, I am involved with development and improvement of all of the processes used within the department.  I participate in many committees including various quality groups, clinical leadership, project development of new equipment and techniques, KPI metrics, and patient care coordination with partner sites.  In addition to these duties, I try to maintain a close relationship with the more than 20 radiation therapy staff members I manage by being available when they need me and helping out in the simulator and treatment rooms when needed.

What do you love most about your job?

As a manager, I like to see co-workers and peers feeling accomplished.  As a healthcare professional, I enjoy patient/caregiver interactions; both the good and the bad because it’s all a part of their experience.  How they feel in the moment is what is most important to me.

What made you interested in proton therapy?

It is a combination of the precise technology and the opportunity to help build a new center from the ground up.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time in my backyard with friends and my daughter. I have a fire pit, a grill, and horseshoe pits so when I want to be outdoors it is nice to spend time in my yard. I have also recently attempted to take up gardening. I have planted some flowers and am hoping they thrive!

What is your favorite quote?

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”