It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means many of you are hosting women’s health wellness fairs and advertising your mammography services in local papers and magazines.
One thing I hope you are also doing is setting aside some time to celebrate and take care of your mammographers. As front-line healthcare professionals, your technologists bear much of the burden that comes with patient care—from obtaining quality images on the most difficult body habitus, occasionally being the brunt of a difficult doctor and even forcing a smile after spotting a life-altering cancer.
I often say that a good mammography tech plays the role of healthcare professional, psychologist, educator, engineer, acrobat and even a magician... all in about 20 minutes or less. It is a never ending job for technologists—whose responsibilities include positioning, quality control, learning new technology, regulatory compliance issues, continuing education, and most importantly, patient care.
So take time to recognize your techs—whether it’s a manager’s hand written note or in-person visits from the physicians. Maybe you celebrate with a food day (we know techs love food!), but take it a step further and set up a lunch-and-learn presentation with a topic on “Taking Care of the Caregiver” or “Tending to Emotions on the Job.” This type of recognition will help showcase your organization’s commitment to their personal success and job satisfaction—and it will go a long way toward improving the tech’s interaction with the patient, which is the one of the greatest determinants if the patient will return for a subsequent examination.
Another reason to take care of your mammography techs is because they truly are among the best advocates for mammograms. There have been countless media reports about studies questioning the value of screening mammograms—which leaves patients unsure and techs discouraged.
It will be good for your department, imaging volume and bottom line if your techs feel empowered to fight for mammograms and spread the word with their family, friends and patients. So arm them with information about how an individualized approach to breast care, including screening mammograms for the right patient, is the best way providers can catch cancers at their earliest, most treatable stage. And make sure your department incorporates personalized solutions for women at high risk and those with dense breasts.
I’d love to know what you are doing to celebrate your mammo techs. Please tell us and even share a picture in the comments below!
Learn about how one hospital implemented 3D mammography at their facility for a more personalized approach to women’s healthcare.