When referring to a radiology professional who has completed additional mammography training, the terms mammography technician and mammography technologist are interchangeable. To work as a mammography technician, you must first obtain an associate’s degree or advanced certificate in radiologic technology, then specialize in mammography.
Radiologic technology associate’s degree programs typically last two years and may include some online coursework. These courses are designed to help students prepare for the radiography certification. Students need to learn more and complete laboratory work, clinical hours, and clinical practicum experiences to gain hands-on experience. Other course topics that the program could cover include the following:
- Theory of radiography
- Anatomy and Physiology
Additional mammography coursework may be available in specific radiologic technology programs, or students may enroll in a mammography certificate program to train as a mammography technician. Certificate programs in mammography are frequently designed for people who work as radiology technicians.
Required Training and Certifications
To become a mammography technician, radiology technicians must complete additional training in the field of mammography. Students can gain hands-on experience with industry-specific technology such as 3-D mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis through these certificate programs (DBT). Students also learn to schedule patients for exams, perform diagnostic procedures, evaluate image quality, and troubleshoot exam-related issues.
Students who have completed mammography courses or certification may sit for the ARRT national mammography certification exam. Applicants must have an ARRT certification in another profession (typically radiology technician), meet education and clinical experience requirements, and pass a test to be eligible for this certification.
Specifics About the Career
In any medical setting, mammography technicians assist physicians and other healthcare professionals with mammograms. These technicians frequently work full-time and are on their feet for the majority of the day.
Mammogram Technician Responsibilities
Mammogram technicians are radiologic technologists who specialize in using low-dose x-ray machines to perform breast diagnostic imaging exams. These professionals typically report to a manager or chief technologist and collaborate closely with doctors and other health care providers to provide the best care possible for a patient. Furthermore, mammography technicians may be in charge of the following duties:
- Patient record management
- If necessary, adjust imaging equipment
- Informing patients about the procedure and addressing any concerns they may have
- Images were taken as directed by the doctor
- When taking x-rays, wear protective gear
- Ensuring the right positioning of the patients
- Obtaining diagnostic images with diagnostic imaging equipment
- If necessary, recreate photos
As a mammography technologist, you can increase your earnings by doing the following:
- Continue your education past the secondary level. Mammography radiologic technologists with an associate’s degree can continue their studies by pursuing a degree in radiologic science or technology.
- Mammographers are paid differently depending on where they work. To increase your remuneration, you may want to consider moving to a location with a higher salary for mammography technologists.
- Workplaces should be modified. Radiologic technicians, such as mammographers, are paid the most in medical and surgical institutions and outpatient care clinics.
You must be in good shape because radiology requires physical labor. You should enjoy interacting with people and have a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology and radiation safety, positioning, and medical terminology. Mammography, in particular, necessitates exceptional interpersonal skills. When a patient is diagnosed with a serious disease, you are frequently their sole caregiver. You’ll need one more year of part-time training and clinical experience to specialize in mammography. To be eligible for your registry, you must pass a certain number of exams.