About Mammography

Individuals completing the three courses in Mammography are able to perform Mammography procedures in a healthcare setting, after completing clinical competencies. Individuals are eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist’s certification exam in Mammography upon completion of the coursework. Students who are in their second year of an accredited radiologic technology program may register for the courses with approval from their program director.

The courses will prepare the radiographer to be a member of the breast imaging team who provides patient education concerning breast cancer and early detection, takes the patient history and prepares the patient for the examination, selects the exam technical factors, positions the patient for the exam, evaluates the images for diagnostic quality, and performs and evaluates quality control procedures.

The goal of the Mammography coursework is to meet the needs of the Radiologic Technology profession by providing radiographers with the content knowledge and clinical skills to perform the tasks typically required of technologists employed in the specialized area of mammography. In addition, to meet the needs of the working Radiologic Technologist, the two didactic courses are offered online and the clinical education component will be arranged at a location convenient to the student.

Mammography is an advanced-level specialty imaging procedure that uses dedicated mammography equipment to produce low-dose, high contrast, and high resolution images. Mammography is the primary means of early detection of breast cancer.

Under a federal law, known as the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), mammographers must meet stringent educational and experience criteria in order to perform mammographic procedures. The curriculum will meet the requirements of this federal law as well as the content specifications of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Clinical education will be competency based.

Upon completion of the coursework, technologists will be eligible for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification examination in Mammography.

Mammography Courses

Introduction to Mammography: Instrumentation, Quality Assurance, Diagnostic Procedures and Treatments                                                                      
3 Credit Hour Course                 WEB BASED
Course provides the student with foundational concepts of mammographic equipment. It will include types and functions, factors that govern and influence image production and recording. Course provides the student with foundational concepts of mammographic quality assurance testing. This course will include factors that govern and influence quality control equipment. The student will gain the knowledge to construct a quality assurance program for a mammography program following the ACR and MQSA guidelines. The student will gain an understanding of various preoperative procedures such as a routine localization, specimen radiography, ultrasound of the breast, cyst aspiration, ductography, fine needle aspiration cytology, and breast MR. Course also includes minimally invasive needle breast biopsy procedures, core biopsy, stereotactic procedures, and interventional procedures used in breast cancer diagnosis. 

Mammography: Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Positioning and Practical Applications in Problem Solving                                                             
3 Credit Hour Course                 WEB BASED
Course provides the fundamentals of mammography positioning. It includes breast anatomy and physiology and pathologic changes, and the relevance of these to mammographic appearance and positioning including correlation to the radiographic appearance of normal anatomy and benign and malignant mammographic findings. The course also provides the basic concepts in patient assessment and evaluation in mammography. It includes effective communication, patient safety/comfort, patient preparation, professionalism, ethics and critical thinking. Course content will emphasize the importance of establishing a positive relationship with the patient, addressing their psychological needs and providing patient information related to the procedure.  

Clinical Mammography                              
2 Credit Hour Course              Clinical Education Setting           
Provides the student with the clinical experience required to become competent in performing mammographic procedures, mammographic image critique and time to perform required quality control testing. Upon course completion, the student will be competent in completing the entire examination from request and chart review, to patient screening, explaining the procedure to the patient, positioning the patient, using required accessories, setting the equipment, making a correct exposure, processing the image, completing the paperwork, using the computer to store patient data and maintaining quality control. The course provides an opportunity to obtain documentation of clinical competence as required by the ARRT for eligibility to take the advanced level examination in mammography.  Minimum 150 contact hours of supervised instruction required. Students must perform 75 mammographic examinations (screening and/or diagnostic) in addition to the 25 examinations that are required by the initial MQSA mammography requirements. All examinations must be performed on patients (not phantoms or simulations).