Meet another incredible woman at Varian, Caeli Decker, a Clinical Application Specialist based out of Upstate New York who has been with Varian since 2017.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in Radiation Therapy at the University of Vermont, Caeli worked as a radiation therapist. “I worked in the clinic treating patients for over eight years, and then I joined Varian. Oncology has been near and dear to me pretty much my entire career.”
Caeli used Varian technology at her clinic daily. “I opened and closed my clinic, so I warmed up the treatment units and closed them down at the end of the day. I really fell in love with the technology.”
As a radiation therapist spending every day with Varian technology, Caeli realized the benefits of Varian’s innovation first hand. “The advancements that Varian has made in radiation and in oncology, in general, have just exploded,” she said. Caeli specifically noticed a focus on improving accuracy and requiring less time on the table for the patients. “I was really impressed by the company’s constant improvement.”
Caeli worked closely with the field service engineers who would come into the clinic to service the machines and spending time with them encouraged her to start looking into positions within Varian. Once Caeli’s clinic got a machine upgrade, Caeli met an applications trainer and saw a future for herself in a similar role. “I talked to him for quite some time and was thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
In her role at Varian, Caeli doesn’t have facetime with patients anymore, but she recognizes the significant impact of her work. “As much as I miss my direct patient care, I like to think of it as I have more patients throughout the world now. I get to go in and help the staff improve their workflows, which just means they get more time to focus on the patients. And I train them on new machines that are allowing them to deliver better, more accurate treatments.”
A perk of this role for Caeli is getting to indulge her love of traveling, continually visiting different clinics throughout the United States and Canada. Clinical Application Specialists travel solo, but strong comradery and communication with her Applications and Consulting Team makes the road less lonely for her. “When we're on the road alone, we call or text one another.” Though they may only cross paths a few times a year, Caeli’s team shares a closeness. “When you meet up with a colleague, even for the first time, it's as if we’ve been friends forever. It's a really wonderful feeling.”
The supportive nature of the team also means Caeli has a consultation available at the press of a button for any problems she may encounter on the job. “If we have a question or are receiving an error of some kind, we will send an email or text out to our team. Generally, within minutes we receive multiple responses back with advice or possible solutions. It's just such a supportive team.”
Caeli also appreciates the managers’ focus on work-life balance and self-care. “Family is always first. So if there's a time we're burning out and maybe need a week at home, our managers are understanding. Knowing I have that support on a day to day basis is huge for me.
“Our managers also recognize and appreciate how hard we work. They always say ‘thank you’ or ‘great job.’ They never miss an opportunity to tell us that. That is one of the things I love the most. It's encouraging. It makes me work even harder.”
Caeli sees a future at Varian because she feels empowered to keep learning and growing. Caeli is pursuing her Master in Business Administration while working full-time training customers on the ARIA® Oncology Information System and TrueBeam® Radiotherapy System. She recently completed an internal training class for Respiratory Gating for Scanners and will soon be training this product as well. “We never stop learning, and there's always room for growth. It’s exciting.”
We’ll keep growing together with Caeli and the rest of her rockstar team who help patients and care providers fight cancer one time zone at a time.
Read more incredible stories about Women at Varian.
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