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Monday, October 15, 2018

WCC Grad Finds a Future in Health Care

When Lourdes Kincaid was growing up in Ecuador, she was the kind of girl who brought home hurt animals to nurse back to health and who was ready to help whenever a family member was sick. “My parents always said I’d grow up to be a doctor, a nurse, or a vet,” she said.

Close. Radiography turned out to be the health care profession that she chose. Radiographers are the technicians who conduct X-rays (and with additional certification, MRIs and CT scans, too) in the lab or in the operating room. “I love working with patients—they’re all so different,” Kincaid said. “Even when they’re not feeling well, they’re usually so pleasant to work with. I usually work in a lab, but I also have taken X-rays during surgery for procedures such as hip replacements and scoliosis surgery so the surgeons can see where to work.”

Immediately after graduating from WCC’s radiography associate degree program in May 2010, Kincaid began working at St. Joseph Mercy in Saline, where she had been a clinical student.

“They had an opening, and they knew my work,” she said. “It’s not uncommon for students to get job offers this way, although there have been fewer opportunities since the recession began a few years ago.”

Kincaid was 37 when she decided she wanted to get a college education and enrolled at WCC, although she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. Once she decided on radiography, she put her name on the waiting list and completed her prerequisite classes. By the time she graduated, she had 90 credits. She transferred them to Eastern Michigan University, where she will soon complete a bachelor’s degree in health administration.

“It wasn’t an easy program and our classroom instructors, Connie Foster, William Nelson, and Jim Skufis, were really tough,” Kincaid said. “But I realized why after I took my American Registry of Radiological Technicians exam to become a certified radiographer. They really had to prepare us to learn a lot of information. We really had to go through the hoops.”

Find out more about the future of jobs in Washtenaw County in the Winter 2011 Career Focus magazine.

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