At Valence Medical Imaging in Toronto, we believe in delivering the highest standard of care to our patients. This is why the training and certification of our mammography technologists are crucial to our operations. If you’ve ever wondered about the depth and breadth of the training that goes behind every mammogram performed in Toronto, Brampton, Whitby, or Niagara Falls, this article is for you.
What Does a Mammography Technologist Do?
A mammography technologist specializes in breast imaging. Their primary responsibility is to obtain clear and detailed images of the breasts for the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. The technologies they use include digital mammograms, breast tomosynthesis, and breast ultrasounds.
Training for Mammography Technologists:
- Educational Requirements: Before diving into specialized training, technologists typically complete a radiologic technologist program, which is often two years in length and provides a foundation in medical imaging.
- Specialized Training: After their foundational education, technologists receive training specifically in breast imaging. This includes understanding the different modalities like digital mammograms, breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography), and breast ultrasound.
- Hands-on Experience: Technologists must perform a certain number of mammograms under supervision before they can practice independently. This ensures they are comfortable with the equipment, positioning patients, and obtaining high-quality images.
In Canada, certification is granted by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). To be certified, technologists must:
- Complete the educational and training requirements.
- Pass the certification examination, which tests their knowledge in breast anatomy, positioning, breast cancer screening, radiation exposure, and more.
The field of breast imaging is continually evolving. New research, technology, and best practices emerge regularly. Therefore, technologists are required to engage in ongoing professional development to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date.
Importance of Training & Certification:
- Breast Cancer Screening: A well-trained technologist ensures that any signs of breast cancer are detected early when the disease is most treatable.
- Dense Breasts: Women with dense breasts may require specialized imaging. Trained technologists can assess breast density and recommend additional imaging like breast ultrasound when necessary.
- BI-RADS Classification: The Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) is a standardized system for classifying breast lesions. Proper training ensures that technologists understand and apply this classification accurately.
- Minimizing Radiation Exposure: While mammography involves low doses of radiation, it’s essential to minimize exposure. Trained technologists ensure that the mammogram is done correctly the first time, reducing the need for repeat images.
- Diagnostic Mammogram & Breast Biopsy: If abnormalities are found during a routine mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram or breast biopsy may be required. Proper training ensures that these procedures are performed with precision and care.
At Valence Medical Imaging, we take immense pride in the expertise and dedication of our mammography technologists. Their rigorous training and certification process ensures that our patients in Toronto, Brampton, Whitby, and Niagara Falls receive top-notch breast imaging services. So, the next time you come in for a mammogram or any breast imaging service, you can rest assured you’re in capable and well-trained hands.