mammographer

What Does a Mammography Technologist Do? Here’s What You Need to Know

Table of Contents

Mammography is only one branch of multiple different radiology modalities. Mammographers are highly important in the medical field — they prepare patients who require breast x-rays and guide them through the entire process. They are also responsible for making sure that the whole procedure is safe. 

Here’s everything you need to know about mammographers.

The Role of Mammography Technologists

Mammography technologists, or mammographers, are in charge of producing images to detect breast tissue abnormalities in order to identify tumors or cancer early when they are most treatable. They operate a specialized x-ray imaging device in order to produce breast images for diagnostic purposes, as requested by physicians or doctors.

Mammography Technologists

Consequently, they are also in charge of ensuring that the x-ray images they produce are of excellent quality and can be interpreted accurately. This includes adjusting the density and contrast of the mammography equipment to improve the quality of the picture. 

Mammographers are also in charge of explaining the procedure to understandably anxious patients and answering any questions that they may have about their visit to the mammography studio. 

Moreso, mammographers are also responsible in making sure that both patients and staff are exposed to as little radiation as possible by strictly adhering to radiation protection techniques. They are in charge of overseeing that all radiation protection devices are in place.

What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know

Job Description

A mammographer is responsible for using x-ray technology to get x-ray images of breast tissue, as requested by doctors or physicians, in order to detect lumps or other abnormalities that signify the early stages of cancer or other diseases. These diseases are easily treatable if detected early. 

Duties & Responsibilities

Mammographers are responsible for operating specialized x-ray imaging devices to produce crisp and clear breast tissue images, so doctors and physicians can provide accurate diagnosis and interpretation. They will also be responsible for troubleshooting and maintaining said equipment. 

Mammographers are also responsible for upholding safety measures and minimizing radiation exposure for the safety and welfare of both patients and staff alike. 

Mammographers should also possess highly intelligent people skills and empathy towards anxious clients who need to undergo the procedure and answer any questions they may have. [1]

Work Environment

The majority of mammographers work in either hospitals or clinics, but they can also get employed in private physicians’ offices.

Education

In order to become a certified mammographer, you must have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in radiology, which, upon completing, you will be receiving a mammography certification from the American Registry for Radiologic Technology (ARRT). This certification is required in 45 states in order to practice.

Education

Keeping up with scientific advancements in radiology technology is also a must, and this is achieved by pursuing continued learning at accredited mammography schools

RadComm Education has been producing top-notch mammography practitioners since its conception in 1996. We provide high-quality online education that you can consume at your own pace, eliminating the fear of expired courses or conflicting class schedules. 

Training 

To specialize in mammography, you will need to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology and have completed 40 hours in both mammography education and training under the supervision of a qualified radiologist or mammography technologist. You will also need to perform 25 hands-on mammography examinations with the guidance of a qualified mammography technologist. All courses and examinations must be accomplished within two years. 

RadComm has certified mammography educators focused on providing nothing less than high-quality training to equip you on your mammography journey. They are committed to helping you achieve personal success and are devoted to ensuring that you are armed to provide the best in-patient care during their mammography exams.

Salary

The typical salary of mammographers ranges between $68,484 and $82,233, as stated in salary.com. There are also plenty of ways to increase your income as a mammography technologist; by pursuing higher education (like a Master’s Degree in Radiology); or switching companies. Outpatient care centers are known to pay the highest salaries for radiologic technologists, including mammographers.

Salary

FAQS

Mammographers need to earn an associate’s degree or advanced certificate in radiologic technology, and afterwards pursue continued education specializing in mammography. The specialized mammography education will need to be accomplished within two years and is a combination of coursework, classes (either in person or online), hands-on laboratory work, and clinical practicum. 

For those already working as radiologic technologists , you can further pursue a certificate program in mammography to become a mammography technologist .

Aside from the skills you have acquired in education and training, mammographers will need to be in good shape as they will be operating heavy machinery. You will need to be able to stand, stoop, lift, and walk without difficulty. 

Mammographers are also required to have highly exceptional people skills. Patients who need a mammogram are often understandably anxious, and it is your job to ease their discomfort and provide them with the encouragement they need. You must also be prepared to console them as you could potentially be the bearer of bad news (i.e., cancer).

In Summary

Being a mammographer is a challenging yet rewarding career. Not only will you be encountering people from all walks of life, but you will also be responsible for their peace of mind as well as safety. It’s difficult to go through daunting thoughts of having cancer in the first place, but as long as patients have a reliable mammographer, it can help in making the entire process a lot more tolerable. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in pursuing mammography as a career, check out our services at RadComm.

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References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151200/

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