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Two health care facilities enable radiography students to graduate and go to work

Apr 27, 2020

South Portland — Students in Southern Maine Community College’s radiography program will be able to graduate on schedule this spring after two health care facilities allowed them to complete competency tests.

To graduate, radiography students must undergo testing to demonstrate their radiographic skills and competency. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, equipment typically used for the testing at SMCC and partner hospitals and doctor’s offices was not available.

To enable students to take the tests, graduate and take their state licensing exams, SMCC radiography program faculty reached out to other health care organizations. The AFC Urgent Care Center in South Portland and the Southern Maine Health Care facility in Waterboro agreed to allow SMCC students to be tested on X-ray equipment at those sites under strict safety protocols.

Safety measures included using personal protective equipment, allowing only two students and an instructor at a time in the testing room and only at appropriate distances, and sanitizing the room after the testing was completed.

Without access to the equipment, the students' graduations and career starts as professional radiographers would have been delayed, according to Louise Ouellette, who chairs SMCC’s radiography program.

“Of the 18 students who are graduating, 14 of them needed to go through competency testing,” she said. “Thanks to the generous support of these partners, our students will be able to begin their careers at a time when there is such a great need for skilled health care workers.”

AFC Urgent Care in South Portland is a locally owned business located at Mill Creek that specializes in non-life-threatening urgent care services.

Southern Maine Health Care offers an array of medical services in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro.


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