Nursing Students Test Mettle on Front Lines

Bedford » Standing in the heart of the Middlesex Community College campus center, dressed head- to- toe in PPE and sticking a cotton swab up a stranger’s nose, Micaela Rainha was in a state of pure bliss.  “We’re just lucky to be doing this really,” the 25- year- old nursing student said.  “I was honestly taking all sorts of pictures when I got here, because it is exciting.”

Following months of virtual coursework and limited opportunities to collaborate with her classmates, Rainha and three other MCC students were given the chance to test Bedford residents for the coronavirus on Tuesday as part of the town’s free testing program.

MCC nursing students to help test Bedford residents for COVID-19

Nursing students at Middlesex Community College will be helping to test for COVID-19 as part of their clinical training as the Town of Bedford moves its ongoing free testing program for residents to the college’s Bedford campus.

In a partnership with the college, nursing students will help collect samples for testing as part of their clinical training on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Fire science students will also be volunteering in various roles, according to a press release.

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Nursing Program joins MCC Commonwealth Honors

“I am excited to announce that MCC’s Nursing Program and Commonwealth Honors Program have partnered to add honors courses for nursing students,” Ercem said. “This unique and creative new partnership is the first of its kind and will provide an opportunity to nursing students to take honors-level Nursing classes and graduate as honors scholars.”

MCC alum Dany Karam graduated in 1999 and now works as the general manager at Advanced Dental Technologies in Stoneham, Massachusetts. 

“Now is a good time to become a dental technician,” Karam said. “Within the past decade, the industry has been moving in the direction of digital work.  Well educated and trained dental technicians continue to have the chance to do very well professionally and financially.” 

Having the opportunity to work in a hands-on field appealed to Karam.  The experiences he gained in the Middlesex program still translate well to his job.  He believes those who just receive on-the-job training “miss out on the important intricacies of the dental field in general.” 

“Having graduated from MCC, I can see the differences it makes and has made in my career,” he said.  “In this industry, it is easy to spot who went to school for this profession and who learned on the job.  I continue to apply theories and techniques I learned over two decades ago.” 

Dental lab techs work behind the scenes to fabricate prosthetic devices based on prescriptions from a dentist.  According to Apollon Bouzerdan, MCC’s program coordinator, the field is not widely known but, even in a struggling economy, offers excellent employment rates, entrepreneurship opportunities and earning potential. 

“Unlike other health professions, DLT is a career with minimal to no patient contact, which makes it ideal for those who want to lower their risks of being exposed to viruses, especially during a pandemic,” Bouzerdan said.  “Our graduates are in high demand by local and out-of-state dental laboratories and dental companies.”

MCC Dental Assisting program clears path into in-demand career

In a recent press release from Middlesex Community College, Dr. Geraldine Garcia-Rogers — or Dr. Gigi — of Sugarbug Dental Suite in Chelmsford, said now is a good time to pursue a career in dental assisting due to the national shortage and dental offices competing for availability.

“Dental Assistants are always in-demand, even during an economic recession as dentists cannot work without their assistants,” Jenny said in the release. “We work closely with the dental community. That is how every year almost all of our students each get three to four job offers even before they graduate as we have over 60 affiliated dental clinics for externships.”

MCC is the only program in Massachusetts — and one of a few in the country — to offer new state-of-the-art equipment, including CAD/CAM for students to practice taking digital impressions and assisting in design of appliances.

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Apollon Bouzerdan, CDT:  An Educator Who Inspires

Carrie-Ann Cokely, General Manager at Concord Dental Laboratory states the one person who has made the biggest impact in her career is Apollon Bouzerdan, CDT, Director of the Dental Laboratory Technology Program at Middlesex Community College in Lowell, MA.{%22issue_id%22:580299,%22page%22:100}

Congratulations to our first graduating class: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

There was a standing ovation and some tears of joy this week as seven immigrant women became the first graduating class of IINE’s newest Skills Training Course. The  Creating New Avenues for Success (“CNA for Success “) program is a specialized workforce development course designed for immigrants seeking careers in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) field. A new collaboration between IINE-Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Abisi Adult Education, and eldercare services provider D’Youville Life & Wellness Community, this week’s graduation marked the successful completion of the inaugural term.

Enrollment begins next week for a new group of students who will start their CNA classes in June. More information can be found online at:

New for Fall 2018: Dental Laboratory Technology 
Certificate Program

This new 28-credit certificate program offers a curriculum composed of didactic and laboratory experience. Courses include content in dental materials, oral anatomy, occlusion, infectious diseases, and history and ethics in dental lab tech. The extensive laboratory component covers all phases of dental technology.  For more information contact Apollon Bouzerdan, DLT Program Coordinator at


Middlesex Community College receives Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant to renovate and upgrade its Dental Hygiene Clinic and Dental Assisting Lab

Middlesex Community College has received a $499,254 Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant to renovate and upgrade its dental hygiene clinic and dental assisting lab.   The grant will help support 24 new operatories in the Dental Hygiene Clinic, and 5 new operatories in the Dental Assisting Lab. 

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New for Fall 2017:  Healthcare Administration Associate Degree Program

Developed through a collaboration between MCC’s Nursing & Allied Health Division and the Business, Education & Public Service Division, this associate in science degree program is designed to meet the needs of those currently working within a medical practice or healthcare facility who desire career-ladder advancement into management.

The Healthcare Administration Program offers a comprehensive curriculum in healthcare finance, sound managerial practices and procedures, and operations of the healthcare industry.  Graduates of this program are prepared to be employed on the business side of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, health-insurance companies, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and community-based clinics.  Students who complete the program can also continue their education by pursuing a bachelor of science in healthcare administration or other similar B.S. degree programs.

For more information about MCC’s Healthcare Administrationdegree program, contact: Angel Pepin, Director, Academy of Health Professions, at; or James Dottin, Professor of Business Administration, at




Last Modified: 8/17/22