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Mammography Technician Video: Educational Requirements in Mammogram Technology

Mammography Technician Video: Educational Requirements in Mammogram Technology Transcript

Mammography technicians are radiologists who use medical imaging to perform an important test known as a mammogram. A number of job opportunities exist for technicians who have been trained in this division of radiology. Most can be pursued after passing an approved program and licensure exam.

Introduction

A mammography technician is a radiological technician that has been trained to scan breast tissue for signs of breast cancer and other afflictions. The scans, also known as mammograms, are used to catch problems while they are still treatable and frequently save both women and men from the sometimes fatal effects of breast cancer.

Training Required

All mammography technicians are licensed radiological technicians. Most states require technicians to pass an approved program before being allowed to take the licensure exam. Many individuals choose to take a one-year technical course, but associate and bachelor degree programs are also available. Once a diploma or degree has been earned, radiological techs must attend additional training specifically in mammograms. This training consists of approximately 40 hours of classroom time and hundreds of hours performing mammograms under the supervision of a certified mammography technologist. New mammography technicians must also complete training on the use of solid state detectors, which is replacing standard x-rays as the preferred method of photographing breast tissue.

Job Skills and Duties

Mammography technicians must understand a variety of technologies, such as how to operate x-ray imaging machinery. The importance of taking a high quality image that can be read by a nurse or physician is crucial. It's estimated that one in ten cases of breast cancer are overlooked on a mammography. In addition to technical knowledge, mammography technicians must be able to work with the patients forced to undergo this serious and sometimes stressful test.

Well Known Jobs within This Field of Expertise

Most mammography technicians work at a clinic, hospital or mobile mammography service. All mammography technicians are trained radiological technicians first, so many choose to work in the field of x-ray and sonographic technology. Experienced mammography technicians who hold a bachelor's or master's degree frequently seek out management or teaching positions.

Conclusion

If you are thinking about working in this field, you should know that mammography technicians perform a very important service. Anyone who aspires to this job must be thoroughly trained and detail oriented. The work that a mammography technician does could save someone's life.


Sources:

Wikipedia - Mammography

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammography

Bureau of Labor Statistic Occupation Outlook Handbook - Radiologic Technologists and Technicians

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos105.htm

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