I am Divya Markande, a Mammography Associate Apprentice. I joined Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) in June 2019 and started with Mammography Associate Apprenticeship Programme in September 2019. I worked as an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening technician in London before I moved to North West England. I loved my job as a screener and wanted to continue into screening but this time, I wanted to try mammography and learn new skills and knowledge.
My typical day involves doing quality control tests on the mammographic equipment, interviewing and performing mammograms on women and also ensuring that I adhere to all the protocols and maintain a safe and clean environment. I work in a multidisciplinary team consisting of assistant practitioners, radiographers, advanced practitioner, radiologists and consultants, breast care and research nurses, health care assistants and other admin staff.
My working week varies between working on mobile breast screening sites and at the Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital (part of MFT), performing mammograms on family history, symptomatic and follow-up patients.
In a mobile breast screening unit I interact with between 40-50 clients (who are well women) per day which includes interviewing and performing mammograms, sharing the work between me and my colleague. Although at the Nightingale Centre the work load varies, I routinely interact with follow-up patients, family history patients and symptomatic patients. It varies between 20-30 patients a day.
On the days in the Nightingale Centre, I attend brief meetings every morning discussing daily updates at work and tasks involved. Also we have a team meeting when all the staff members can raise any concerns or talk about how we can improve the service and get updated with all information.
In my job as a Mammography Associate the biggest challenge I face is in regards to time management skills. In a screening environment with appointments scheduled six minutes apart, I need to do mammograms quickly enough to ensure I get a good quality image without it affecting patient experience.
I love this job as it makes me a part of the team that is saving many lives by early detection of breast cancer. I love patient interaction and feel it is a very satisfying job.