From Patient To Employee: Mammography Student Returns to the Same Clinic
Yulemny Alcantara Fraai returns to work as a mammographer at the same clinic that she visited for her mammography exam.
When Yulemny Alcantara Fraai, RT (R)(M), noticed a lump in one of her breasts in 2015, she immediately booked an appointment at Brigham & Women’s Hospital for her mammography exam. She was impressed by the way that she was treated.
Equipped with an associate’s degree in radiology technology, Fraai already had plans to become a mammographer even before her appointment. Her visit to Brigham & Women’s Hospital confirmed her career goals and she thought to herself, “the way that they treat me here, one day, I want to do it the same way.” At the time, she didn’t realize that she would return to the clinic at Brigham & Women’s Hospital as an employee.
Luckily, the lump was nothing to worry about. Fraai soon enrolled in the 9-credit online Advanced Certificate in Mammography at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
As a non-native English speaker, she struggled with the intensive program. Fraai quickly felt that she was underwater. She was on the verge of dropping out when she received an email from Mammography Program Director and Adjunct Professor in the School of Medical Imaging and Therapeutics Carol Anthony, RT (R)(M).
“I must have an angel and they brought Carol into my life,” Fraai said.
Anthony had learned that Fraai was struggling and asked if she would like to talk. It soon became clear that the format of RSC 452 | Mammography Imaging Procedures & Patient Care —which included many large reading assignments followed by tests—was challenging for non-native speakers. Anthony knew that Fraai could succeed with the right tools and guidance and began tutoring her.
“I taught her how to change the way she studied and she ended the course with an ‘A’,” Anthony said. “She went from a ‘D’ Student to an ‘A’ student overnight.”
“Carol was available all the time, even on Sundays,” Fraai said.
Via Zoom meetings, Anthony helped her go over material from the RSC 450 | Mammography Board Review Course. Through the course, students prepare for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Mammography Post-Primary Certification Exam, which recognizes individuals who are qualified to perform the role of a mammographer.
Fraai successfully passed her registry exam in April and graduated with her certificate in spring 2022.
“I could cry because she passed her registry with an 85,” Anthony said. “Because English was her second language, it was a huge accomplishment for her to be able to do what she did, and I'm just so proud of her.”
After passing her registry exam, Fraai learned that she could do her clinical rotations at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where she had been a patient. A quarter of the way through her rotation, she was told that the hospital wanted to hire her as a permanent employee.
For Fraai, the experience has been surreal. “I’m here now not as a patient but as an employee; it’s just amazing,” she said.