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Mother’s Cancer Diagnosis Motivates STC Student to Pursue Career in Medical Field

Student of the Week: Nancy Espino


Donna resident and STC first-year radiologic technologist student serves as her mother’s primary caretaker while working shifts as a student.  


First-year Radiologic Technology student Nancy Espino saw herself helping others, but never thought she’d be the primary caretaker for her own mother at just 22-years-old. 

After high school in 2019, Espino attended Massachusetts Wesley College but was called home when her mother got a cancer diagnosis.  

“I came home because my mother got sick,” said Espino. “Being the youngest and in school, while my older siblings have careers, I became her primary caretaker,” said Espino. “Finding the strength to continue school at STC was challenging but I was able to take care of my mother and still juggle classes.”  

STC’s Radiologic Technology program trains students for employment as entry-level radiologic technologists in hospitals, outpatient imaging centers, mobile imaging services and additional medical facilities.  

In her first semester, Espino worked several eight-hour shifts weekly with Weslaco’s Texas HealthCare Systems mobile imaging unit.  

“I started clinical last semester and I got the hands-on experience by interacting with my patients and building those connections with them professionally,” she said. “It's been really fun and I’m enjoying myself in the program.”  

Nancy Espino, Student of the Week

“You have to want it and don’t expect to give the bare minimum." 

Nancy Espino, Student of the Week

The transition from caretaker at home to one as a student flowed seamlessly for Espino as she works with all sorts of patients and in all types of settings.  

 “This semester I’m working at McAllen’s Medical Center focused on trauma and E.R. patients whereas last year I was treating geriatric patients who needed quick results,” said Espino. “The way I’ve seen health care first hand with my mother has influenced the kind of medical professional I am in the field.”   

 Espino inspires to be the kind of caretaker who positively impacts her patients with a simple 10-minute interaction.  

“I know our interactions can inspire a patient and that’s why I want to treat everyone with kindness  and respect.”  

 Today Espino’s mother is in remission. Now with her health in check, the younger Espino is focusing on her long-term goals. 

 After graduation in 2023, Espino plans to become a travel tech, and hopefully, in the near future, she plans to attend medical school.   

“You have to want it and don’t expect to give the bare minimum,” she said.