Never say never
Rachel Wagner swore she’d never become a medical nerd. “My family likes to watch medical shows and heart transplants and I never wanted to watch them. I would just be gagging in the background,” she says.
So she found another dream. Rachel studied Esthetics at DATC and loved it. Within two weeks of graduating, Rachel found a job working in a dermatology clinic. She began as a laser technician, but before long, the clinic trained her as a medical assistant so she could assist with minor surgeries.
At work, Rachel’s squeamishness disappeared quickly. Blood wasn’t a big deal anymore. “Eventually, you just become immune to it, so it doesn’t bother you.”
And suddenly, she was learning about medicine. As much as Rachel loved the artistic side of esthetics, she became fascinated by the medical part of her job. The layers of the skin, different skin types, different skin conditions…she couldn’t get enough of it. “I wanted to dive into [the medical side] of it more, and the perfect way to do that was to go to nursing school and learn more medical things.”
Rachel was accepted to DATC’s Practical Nurse program. After completing that program, she transferred to Weber’s Registered Nurse program, and she’s currently in her third semester, taking Weber State classes on DATC campus. She gave up one dream to pursue another, but even with all the challenges, Rachel has no regrets.
DATC has been like a second family to Rachel, which has helped her through the tough times. “There have been a lot of sacrifices, a lot of tears, and a lot of late nights,” Rachel says, “but I’ve made a ton of friends. Without them, I could do it, but it would not have been nearly as easy nor as fun.”
Rachel’s not sure yet what she’ll do with her nursing degree. But that’s one of the things she loves about being a nurse—there are so many possibilities. For now, she knows that she is meant to be a nurse. She ended up in a field she was sure she’d hate, and she loves it.
“It’s natural for me to want to care for people and help them, not only physically but on an emotional level.”