MCPHS Adjunct Faculty Carol Anthony on the Advanced Certificate in Mammography
Anthony details her professional experience in mammography, the future of this discipline, the type of professional who would benefit most from obtaining the Advanced Certificate in Mammography, and what makes the MCPHS certificate unique.
What is your own experience in mammography?
Mammography has become more of a calling than a job. The mammography exam is uncomfortable both physically as well as emotionally. Being able to help make the process more comfortable for my patients while getting optimal images is my goal for each encounter. I have worked as a Mammography Technologist, Quality Control Technologist, Lead Technologist, and Mammography Manager. I currently balance being a working technologist with being a teacher of mammography at MCPHS. Sharing my knowledge and experiences with my students has been rewarding in so many ways.
Who would benefit most from the Advanced Certificate in Mammography program? How might the certificate help their careers?
Mammography requires a skill set of both intelligence and compassion. The ability to obtain high-quality images while ensuring that the patient experience is a positive one is not easy when you consider how uncomfortable the exam can be. Anyone who specializes in patient care and has an attention to detail would benefit from this modality.
Many facilities today are looking to hire multi-modality employees to help balance staff coverage. Technologists that can offer both x-ray and mammography on their resume will always have an advantage over a technologist that can only offer one modality. There are also many opportunities for mammography specialists to work at breast centers that are dedicated to breast imaging.
Why is mammography an important part of patient care?
One in eight women will contract breast cancer in their lifetime. Early detection of breast cancer not only can save a woman’s life, but it can also determine the difference in the level of treatment a woman has to face. There is a big difference in treatment between radiation and chemotherapy. There is a big difference between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. The population affected by breast cancer includes our family and friends. [At some point in our lives,] we will all know a loved one dealing with breast cancer.
What are the current and future career opportunities in this area? Where do you see mammography heading in the future?
Mammography as an industry offers great opportunities. Mammography only became commonplace about twenty-five years ago. This means that many of the original technologists hired during that time are now ready to retire. New technology has recently become available, which has improved the capability of mammograms to find breast cancer.
Mammography is one of the most regulated of all the diagnostic imaging modalities and it is subject to a yearly audit by the Food and Drug Administration. Those mammography technologists who also appreciate the administrative side of healthcare will have ample opportunity to expand into quality control areas, compliance, and auditing.
What makes this advanced certificate unique compared to other certificates that are offered by other programs throughout the United States?
At MCPHS, we offer a thorough didactic program, which caters to various types of learners. The online platform allows students to work and study at times that work for their schedule. Recorded lectures, slideshows, and students’ notes are provided to help support students. The teachers are available by appointment and during office hours to answer questions or just discuss topics as needed. Many programs of other universities are set, offering the course in one manner; however, MCPHS offers a program that is flexible and caters to the individuality of each student.
Many outside programs are also limited to regulatory-based material. Students are often responsible for finding their own settings for clinical work, which can be challenging. At MCPHS, we organize the mammography clinical program and work with facilities to provide the best clinical experience possible. Although not guaranteed, we work hard to ensure clinical placements.
The MCPHS certificate program also includes a registry review class, which provides mock registry exams that can help isolate areas that require improvement. Practice exams can be taken in various topics or sections, or can be taken from the complete pool and randomized. Practical test-taking skills and tips are provided to help prepare the student to sit for the registry with confidence.
Explore our Advanced Certificate in Mammography.