Support of healthcare organizations allows SMCC Radiography students to graduate on schedule

Students in Southern Maine Community College’s Radiography program will be able to graduate on schedule this spring after two healthcare organizations allowed the students to complete their competency tests on their X-ray equipment.

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

To ensure that students could take the tests to allow them to graduate and take their state licensing exams, Radiography program faculty reached out to other healthcare organizations. Those organizations ― the AFC Urgent Care Center in South Portland and the Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) 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.

If the students didn’t have access to the equipment, their graduations and the launch of their careers as professional radiographers would have been delayed, said Louise Ouellette, chair of 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 healthcare 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.