Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will take a look at the professions that focus on breast cancer diagnosis. What does a mammography technologist do and how can you land a travel job as one? Keep reading to learn more about the job and education requirements.
Two of the professions dedicated to fighting breast cancer are radiation therapists and mammography technologists. Radiation therapists use high-energy rays to eliminate cancerous cells. Yet, before men and women ever see a radiation therapist, they are first diagnosed. Mammograms aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases. You could be at the front line of detecting breast cancer by working as a mammography technologist.
What Does a Mammography Technologist Do?
A mammography technologist uses X-ray imaging to get internal images of breasts and study breast tissue. These images help physicians detect breast diseases in their earliest stages. Your patients could be men or women and they will most likely be a little nervous about the procedure. So, part of your job will also be to help put patients at ease.
Mammography Technologist Job Description
Mammography technologists work in hospitals and imaging clinics. Typically, their job duties include:
- Greeting patients, reviewing requests, and checking for special instructions.
- Reducing patient anxieties, explaining procedures & equipment, and answering patient questions.
- Advising patients on how normal breast tissue looks and feels compared to abnormal breast tissue.
- Conducting mammography by positioning breasts and adjusting compression mechanisms & equipment controls.
- Activating equipment to take images and observing the scanning process.
- Monitoring the video display of the area being scanned and adjusting the contrast to improve the picture quality.
- Practicing radiation safety measures to minimize radiation exposure while using equipment and X-ray imaging.
- Operating, troubleshooting, and maintaining mammography equipment.
- Keeping track of inventory and making sure patients have all the supplies they need.
- Complying with regulations to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff.
- Documenting and recording patient information.
- Communicating effectively.
What education do you need for this job? What is the job outlook? Let’s find out.
In order to work as a mammography tech, you typically need to first earn your associate’s degree. This qualifies you to take a test that will certify you as a radiographic technologist by the American Registry of Radiographic Technologists. Forty states currently require this certification by law in order to practice.
The entire process to become certified typically takes 21 to 24 months and involves both classroom learning and clinical work onsite. It’s helpful to take courses in science, math, and communications. Many candidates will also get their bachelor’s degree in radiology.
Hospitals and clinics across the country have many job opportunities available for mammography techs. In fact, job growth prediction between 2018 and 2028 for all radiologic technologists is 9 percent. Mammography techs make good money, too! Browse AlliedTravelCareers.com for a list of mammography tech travel jobs in places like California, Virginia, and Oklahoma!
What Does a Mammography Technologist Do When Traveling?
Once you get certified to work as a mammography technologist, you also have the option of taking a mammography tech travel job. Instead of remaining in the same town at the same medical facility, you could move around. Allied travelers relocate to different states and fill temporary positions that are vacant. Travel healthcare jobs are beneficial because they alleviate the shortage of healthcare workers across the country. For those who choose to travel for work, it gives them the opportunity to remain working in their field while seeing new places! There are many benefits to working an allied travel career. Benefits include higher pay rates than permanent positions, an abundance of learning opportunities, and of course, the ability to explore the United States while getting paid! You do need to have at least a year or more of experience working in the field before you qualify to start traveling.
If this sounds like a career choice for you, search mammography tech travel jobs here and apply online when you are certified! What questions do you have about mammography techs? Let us know in the comments!