Five Things Mammography Techs Would Tell You (if they weren’t so shy)

Five Things Mammography Techs Would Tell You (if they weren’t so shy)

Mammography technologists have a tough job. Every day they face a number of women who are uncomfortable, nervous, and sometimes slightly suspicious. Who are these people that would choose to run mammography machines every day? Well, techs won’t tell you this, but patients will: they are superheros in scrubs.

Here are five answers to common questions:

  • Can I help? Actually, you don’t have to lift a finger. Seriously, you can just let the tech take care of you. When it comes to the nuances of the machine, they’ve got it down.

  • Yep, the machine was invented by a man – two men, in fact. Patrick Panetta and Jack Wennet didn’t set out to make women uncomfortable, however brief –  they set out to save lives. And they also set out make you hold still.

  • Holding still is key when it comes to mammograms. Motion causes blurring of images, blurred images have to be retaken. So there will be 10 seconds or less of compression, and it’s probably best if you don’t wiggle or sneeze either.

  • It’s not every woman’s favorite machine, unless it happens to have saved her life – which mammography machines do on a regular basis. So you can dislike the brief experience, but you might just love what it can do for you.

  • Do techs do this all the time? Many mammography techs are specialists, doing mammograms all day long. However, technologists are capable and educated on many other procedures.. It’s important to note that just because it’s not the tech’s first time doing a mammogram, it could be yours, and they are compassionate about that difference.

Ultimately, techs are people too – with feelings and everything! They do what they do because they care. Their dedicated work can put you on the path to better health. So you can fuss and fret, and they will still greet you with calm professionalism. But if you make a joke – they’ll probably laugh. You can laugh too. After you hold still for 10 seconds!





Originally published 4/22/13 on