How to Become a Mammography Tech in 2023

how to become a mammography tech

How to Become a Mammography Tech in 2023

If you are wondering how to become a Mammography Technologist in 2023, then you have come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to embark on this rewarding journey within the world of healthcare. Whether you’re a seasoned radiologic technologist or are thinking about a career in healthcare, this guide will provide you with the essential information on how to become a Mammography Tech.

Steps for Becoming a Mammography Tech 

This guide is tailored to the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians (ARRT) post-primary eligibility pathway for seeking specialized credentials in mammography. Please note that to follow this pathway, you should already be ARRT certified and possess the general radiology credential as required by the registry. 

With this in mind, let’s dive into the 5 key steps you need to follow on your path to becoming a Mammography Technologist below: 

  1. Education Requirements
  2. Clinical Requirements
  3. Ethics Requirements
  4. Apply for Credentials
  5. Take the Examination

As a quick side note, this pathway to becoming a Mammography Technologist requires completing all these steps within a 24-month period to ensure a smooth and efficient certification process.

Structured Education Requirements for Mammography

Aspiring Mammography Techs must undergo structured education to ensure they possess the necessary knowledge and skills for the role. Let’s take a look at some of the details that you should think about along the way. 

Required Education Hours

Candidates must accumulate a total of 16 hours of structured education to meet this requirement. These hours are designed to provide a well-rounded understanding of mammography and related healthcare practices.

Course Options

You have the flexibility to select from courses offered by an ARRT-approved academic institution or courses approved by the Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism (RCEEM/RCEEM+). This ensures that the education you receive meets the industry’s high standards.

Content Categories 

To ensure a comprehensive education, candidates must complete a minimum of 1 credit hour in each of the following categories:

  • Patient Care: Courses in this category cover patient communication, patient assessment, breast cancer treatment options, and more. 
  • Image Production: Courses in this category can include topics such as display and informatics, design of mammography units, and techniques to ensure high-quality mammogram images.
  • Procedures: Courses such as mammography procedures, anatomy, physiology, and pathology will equip you with the knowledge needed to perform mammography examinations accurately and safely.

Clinical Requirements for Specialization

Next, it’s essential to understand the clinical requirements, which are divided into two categories: ‘Mandatory Procedures’ and ‘Elective Procedures.’ These clinical requirements are vital to ensure you are well-prepared for the specialized role in mammography.

Mandatory Procedures

Procedural requirements in the clinical setting include but are not limited to items like mammographic imaging, patient preparation, patient education, image evaluation, and quality control. Completing these mandatory procedures will be quintessential to your clinical journey. 

Elective Procedures

In addition to the mandatory procedures, Mammography Techs have the opportunity to expand their skills through elective procedures, which include localization imaging, breast MRI, and stereotactic biopsy among others. 

For detailed information about the specifics of each core clinical requirement, it is recommended that you visit the ARRT website for more information. There, you will find comprehensive information and resources to guide you through the clinical requirements for mammography specialization.

Ethics Requirements for Mammography Techs

Ethics play a pivotal role in the healthcare field, and as a Mammography Technologist, it’s essential that you possess a strong moral character. To ensure candidates meet these ethical standards, the ARRT includes a section on the credential application specifically dedicated to ethics. These questions are designed to assess your moral character and ethical standards. It’s imperative that you answer them truthfully and accurately.

To gain a deeper understanding of the specific ethical questions that you’ll encounter on the application, we recommend visiting the ARRT website. There, you’ll find comprehensive guidance on the ethics requirements and how they are assessed during the application process.

Completing the ARRT Application for Credentialing

Before you can take the Mammography Tech examination, you must complete the ARRT application and gain approval as a candidate. This is a crucial step in the certification process. The application will consist of several components that include but are not limited to: 

  • Background Information
  • Demographics
  • Verification of Identity
  • Ethics Section

Once your application is submitted and approved, you can proceed to schedule your Mammography Tech examination. This is a significant milestone on your journey to becoming a certified Mammography Technologist.

Taking the Mammography Examination

Now that you’ve completed the application process and scheduled your Mammography Tech examination, it’s time to prepare for this significant step in your career journey. Success on the exam is essential to earn your Mammography credential. Let’s take a look at a few things you should consider when thinking about taking the exam. 

First, you will want to start your preparations as soon as your exam date is scheduled. The Mammography Tech examination covers a wide range of topics related to mammography, including patient care, image production, procedures, ethics, and more. Ensure you have access to study materials and resources that cover these areas comprehensively.

Next, candidates are allowed to take the exam up to three times within a three-year period. It’s crucial to take this into account and make the most of your study time to increase your chances of passing on your first attempt. 

Furthermore, the Mammography Tech exam is scaled, with scores ranging from 1 to 99. The scaling process takes into consideration the number of questions per section and the overall difficulty of the exam. To successfully pass the exam and earn your Mammography credential, you must achieve a minimum score of 75.

After completing the exam, you will receive preliminary results immediately. While this can provide some immediate relief and insight into your performance, it’s important to note that official results will be mailed to candidates at a later date. If you pass the exam, you have officially earned your credential to become a certified Mammography Technologist.

Next Steps in Your Mammography Career

With your Mammography credential in hand, a world of opportunities awaits. Mammography professionals can explore various career paths and work settings, including permanent work in inpatient or outpatient facilities. Or rather, work as a travel mammography tech after you gain experience and expertise in a local position. 

Learning how to become a mammography tech in 2023 is an admirable and fulfilling career choice. Your dedication to ensuring the early detection of breast abnormalities and your commitment to patient care are invaluable contributions to healthcare.

If you’re interested in exploring opportunities as a traveling Mammography Technician, consider checking out the Novo Connections career page. There, you can find more information about the exciting prospects and rewarding experiences that await you in this dynamic field.

We wish you the best of luck on your journey to becoming a certified Mammography Technologist and hope this guide has been a valuable resource in your pursuit of this important healthcare career.