WC student lands opportunity at prestigious Mayo Clinic
By Misty Browning
It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that Weatherford College’s diagnostic medical sonography program was named “best ultrasound technologist school in Texas” by Nursing Process. In this program, students must pass three national registries that help them land jobs either prior to or quickly after graduation. The program also draws students from all over the country, including recent graduate and Portland, Oregon, native Talayna Halley.
“I knew I was going to do ultrasound because I was praying about it with my mom for a long time,” Halley explained. “I was in high school and doing dual credit at the same time. One day I went to help landscape my grandfather’s house, and he asked me about my life…He then asked about the healthcare field, a recession-proof job. My dad had just had an ultrasound done and had been telling me about it, but I had been casting him off.”
She started looking into schools near her home. Only one school in Oregon does ultrasound, and it was far from home and expensive, so Texas began to draw her attention. With her family in tow, they moved to Willow Park soon after she decided on Weatherford College.
“I had a friend who moved to Austin and loved the area,” she said. “I was surprised it was green and had trees. It had its own type of beauty. My options were narrowed down to Weatherford, and I prayed that God would open the right doors. I attribute my ending up at Weatherford to fasting and prayer.”
Another determining factor for Halley regarding attending Weatherford College was being a WC Foundation scholarship recipient, specifically a scholarship funded by Richard and Nancy Stuart. She then met the Stuarts at a foundation dinner later that year.
She loved the opportunity to express her gratitude for their generosity and for taking the time to care for future generations. It was also a chance for her to experience the WC community and all its charm.
“I was able to witness the tight-knit community and how the scholarships are changing the lives of the students receiving them,” Halley said. “I also heard from the donors about their lives and the differences they are making. I was completely overwhelmed by the love that filled the room. So many people in that place truly cared and wanted to support us and see us succeed.
“The college is such an uplifting community and feels like home. I remember calling my mom the first week I lived here and telling her that Southern charm is real, not just in the movies. People here are so kind.”
Halley loves the career she’s chosen. It’s a position that is always in high demand, and she says she enjoys getting to help people in sometimes scary situations.
“I love how every day is different because every patient is different. Our patients are coming to us because they think something is wrong,” she said. “Sometimes they are scared about the possibilities of what we might find. That’s why I love doing ultrasound; because we are so intimately involved in their care process. We get to be that smiling face, soft word or gentle touch.”
Kelly Staub, director of the WC diagnostic medical sonography program, couldn’t say enough positive things about her former student.
“She consistently demonstrated excellence in the classroom and during her clinical rotations,” Staub said. “She moved from Oregon to Texas to pursue her dream of becoming a sonographer, and she made that dream come true through hard work and determination.
“I am excited for Talayna and Inna Begma to represent Weatherford College at such a renowned facility. The Mayo Clinic, which has been ranked the number one hospital in the nation for seven consecutive years, stated students from the Weatherford College Sonography Program were top-tier interview candidates who excelled in all areas of their intensive interview process.”
That’s correct; Halley will move back north to Minnesota in a few weeks to work at the Mayo Clinic alongside her classmate.
She said she’s “kinda” excited to experience the winters since she came from a colder state. Now, she gets to experience the next exciting step in adulthood, living by herself and living out from under her parents’ roof. And she’ll use the education WC has provided to help her toward her dream career.
“The Mayo Clinic wanted the best of the best, and since we are new graduates, they can shape and mold us. We understand how ultrasounds work and the various pathologies we are looking for,” Halley said. “Since we haven’t worked anywhere else, they can shape us into the sonographers they wanted us to be.
“I applied and hoped for the best. There’s lots of pressure and responsibility on our shoulders. I know Weatherford College has prepared me for that. I’m excited about what the future holds because I’ve been so well prepared for it.”