I love my job: Interaction with the breast screening woman

Attribution: http://southfloridatrials.com/?page_id=326

Attribution: http://southfloridatrials.com/?page_id=326

Is this all you do all day?

I was asked today, twice, “is this all you do all day?”.  My colleagues will smile at this as it is a common question.

It usually sounds to us that you don’t rate what we do, but I know you don’t mean it in any way negative. I guess you wouldn’t fancy my job. I love my job. I get to chat to women all day. You are all different shapes, sizes, textures, colours (though I only take black and white images) with different attitudes to your bodies never mind your breasts. My challenge is to make you all look beautiful, well get a good quality image. Like any photographer some subjects are easy to work with and some are, well, we take a little more time.

Wommen pictureIt does not matter to me what size or shape you are, I can manage. I feel for some clients when they share a snapshot of their lives whilst we are together. Some have recently lost a loved one or just become a grandmother. Some have just graduated with a long desired degree and some have finished a long shift and can’t wait to get to bed. I travel the world in a day talking about holidays past and future or just how your day has been. All, some, and sometimes none of the above are discussed (as some of you want to just get it done; no problem).

I am into how we as a society we interact with our breasts, see my blog from January 2015. Our breasts can sell any manner of goods or help our clothes hang in a certain way yet biologically they are there to either feed babies or adorn with jewels to help us feel good about ourselves. I know this is not always the case as some women may have had challenging experiences. This is private to them and not shared usually.

Julie RSH

Julie Stein Hodgins, Mammographer

It is all this variety that helps me enjoy my job. It is getting quality images of women so you can trust the result. It is knowing when to shut up and when to talk. It is also about learning with colleagues, challenging myths about screening and sharing quality evidence based practice whilst doing my job. Most women find having a mammogram is, ‘a tight squeeze but no big deal’. If you are one of the few that feel it is very painful or not nice let us know. We, as practitioners, shall accept you as you are.


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