“I literally went from being a student one day to being a fully functioning technologist the next.”
– Marlene Stodgell-O’Grady (Medical Radiation Technology ’80)
Director, Quality Safety and Education, Alberta Health Services
Marlene Stodgell-O’Grady believes the best way to develop top-notch health care professionals is through a solid education. As she frequently explains to her colleagues at Alberta Health Services: “Our best recruitment strategy is to train the students.”
The AHS director of quality, safety and education, understands the value of NAIT’s approach from two perspectives. Stodgell-O’Grady has fond memories of her time as a NAIT student. She graduated from NAIT in 1980 and seamlessly – immediately – entered the workforce.
For three decades, she’s been helping future health technologists make similar transitions. Stodgell-O’Grady has hired many NAIT work placement students and Diagnostic Imaging grads. She’s been an active participant on Program Advisory Committees to keep NAIT’s teaching relevant to the needs of health care employers.
Stodgell-O’Grady also helps NAIT stay up-to-date with technological advancement. Medical-imaging equipment she used, for example, is long since obsolete. NAIT, she says, has stayed ahead of the curve. A near-100 percent employment rate is a testament to the polytechnic’s hands-on, relevant instruction.
One thing that never changes, however, is the enthusiasm new hires bring to their jobs as they fulfil a vital role in the province’s health-care system.
“It excites me to see people take on that passion and care for the patient,” says Stodgell-O’Grady. “As a NAIT alumni, it’s a source of pride to see other people follow in the profession I love.”