What Does it Take to Provide a Comfortable Mammogram?

It’s understandable that a woman might have some anxiety around getting a mammogram. It’s an intimate, awkward exam screening for a serious mammogram in progressdisease. While some take it in stride, others have severe fear. Ella Health was designed to take away the anxiety so that women will feel good about taking charge of their health regardless of their initial nervousness.

The key to making women feel comfortable, our mammo techs say, is to start from the very moment a patient walks through the door. With a beautiful décor, soft music and aromatherapy, our centers are designed to help women relax. Then, our staff adds the all important touch of warmth and friendliness.

“We pay close attention to patients as we ask them about their medical history,” said Colleen Curcio, lead mammo Tech at Toms River, NJ. “We’re looking to see how nervous a patient might be feeling and figuring out what words or questions might make her feel calmer.”

It’s about having patience, the techs said, and not rushing women through their appointments. Sometimes it means showing women what will happen before they start the exam. Sometimes it just means providing a lot of information.

“When we talk to them, we use their first names, or however they want us to call them because to us, they’re people not numbers and we want them to know that,” said Sara Henise, a mammo tech in Lemoyne.

Throughout the process, the techs take the time to explain every step of the procedure and answer any questions. Women feel better knowing what is going to happen and understanding why, the techs said.

“We talk to women while we’re positioning them rather than just putting them where we need them to be,” said Tori Kochiss, lead mammo tech at Westport. “And we talk to them about other things that are going on like what they’re doing that day to help get their mind off the exam.”

When it is time to compress the breast and take the images, the techs explain that they will move slowly and ask patients to tell them immediately if they feel any discomfort. If they do, the techs will stop and make adjustments to make them more comfortable. They will also have suggestions about how a woman can stand or hold her arm to make it easier.

“They know we’ll listen to them and that’s huge,” Colleen said. “It gives them control over the process and that makes a big difference.”

A few things you might want to know before your appointment:

  • You may prefer to wear a two-piece outfit since you will only need to remove your top.
  • You shouldn’t wear deodorant or perfume during the exam, but we will provide you with a warm towel to clean with and a deodorant wipe for after.
  • You will have a private dressing room where you can lock your belongings
  • We will need your previous images if you have had a mammogram before, but we can get them if you let us know where you had the exam.

 

 

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