On the Other Side
It’s not every day that I get to be on the other side of the X-ray table or scanner. This week, I went for a mammogram and got to do just that. I was going to tell the technologist what I do for a living but decided not to. She was nice, but she did not make me feel at ease when I entered the room.
She didn’t do several things that I try to always do with my patients like make eye contact, explain the procedure and ask if the patient has any questions or concerns before getting started.
She had me change into that lovely half-gown that “opens in the front.” Then as she was determining which size paddle to use, without warning she opened my gown on one side ever-so- briefly to check my breast size. I was shocked and dismayed and didn’t know what to say. It was clear to me that she has little empathy for her patients. I would never dream of doing something like this. I’m sure she thought she had done nothing wrong.
The fact that she didn’t explain the positions she needed me in didn’t bode well, either. I found her to be pushy, and she just placed her hands on me again without warning and moved me where she wanted.
I never touch my patients without telling them what I am going to do first. When my dad was alive and having many diagnostic procedures, he reminded me of the extreme importance of this.
Even though most procedures are very much the same, it’s imperative that I not forget that on the other side of the table is a scared patient who is looking to me to put her at ease. This is a huge responsibility of the job and should never be taken lightly.