The radiology program at State Fair Community College in Sedalia is offering a mammography workshop this week.
April Young, director of the radiology program, said this is the second year the school has hosted the workshop, and it’s not just for SFCC students. Any registered radiology technologist can participate.
“We do have some of our senior students that are in their second year of the program that are going to take the mammography class, and then when they graduate they’ll actually be not just a radiology technologist but then they can also do mammography,” Young said. “So it not only services our students, but it services other radiology personnel that are interested in getting into mammography.
“There are some smaller hospitals where they train you how to do mammography on site, but in order to take your registry you have to have at least 40 hours of structured education. That’s why we offer this.”
Darla Mounce, a mammography technologist from the Kansas City area, is instructing the workshop, which already has 17 participants registered this year. Young said between 15 and 20 people registered last year, reflecting the need for the workshop in the area.
“We see the need out there, and people are definitely attending the workshop,” Young said. “We already have some interested in next year’s.”
Bree Crowley, a second-year student in the radiology program, said she’s participating in the workshop because she had the opportunity to observe mammography for a couple days. Her grandmother has also been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“The lady I observed was very into women’s health and talked about how it’s very empowering, how you can help other women so it interested me,” she said.
The workshop is designed for technologists to receive their initial mammography training. After the workshop, technologists must take at least 100 mammography exams at a hospital or clinic before they are eligible to receive initial mammography certification and registration with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
“When our students graduate, they are eligible to take the ARRT registry for radiology, and so going through this mammography course assists these students where they are sitting in the ARRT mammography registry,” Young said. “It helps them get ready for their registry. The registry is a written exam, and that’ll include everything from position to technique to digital, covering some of that digital mammography and some of the physics of it.”
The workshop includes an eight-hour digital mammography course as mandated by the federal government’s Mammography Quality Standards Act. The course delves into digital mammography machines and how they are different from film analog mammography machines. Young said most mammography is digital now.
“Digital is much faster,” Young said. “It can get more patients done in a day. Digital also can be moved just with a computer. They also can detect breast cancer more easily with the images. The images are better quality.”
For the first few days, registrants will also participate in lectures and discussions on the history of mammography, how the machines function and go into breast cancers and why mammography is important. The last day includes hands-on training on positioning at the Bothwell Diagnostic Center in Sedalia.
Crowley said she’s most looking forward to actually learning how to do mammography because she’s going to try to take her registry right after she takes her radiology registry in order to start her career as soon as possible.
“It’s not just women who get breast cancer,” Crowley said. “They are just the main gender that gets screened. So really, mammography is as important as any other modality in the diagnostic imaging career field.
“I think it’s the goal of everyone in this career to help see what others need to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Crowley said she’s looked into a diagnostic imaging center in Lee’s Summit to work after she completes her program and registry, but she’s also researching hospitals because they seem more comfortable and welcoming, like a home.
The mammography workshop is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday in the Thompson Conference Center in the Heckart Science and Allied Health Center at State Fair Community College. Registration is open until 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the cost is $115 per day or $460 for all four days.
For more information about the mammography workshop or the radiology program, contact Young at 660-596-7403 or [email protected]
Leah Wankum can be reached at 660-826-1000 or @leahwankum.