Men in mammography areas

  1. Gathering information on how the subject is dealt with in different facilities. For those who work in hospitals or settings where mammography is performed:

    Does your facility restrict access to these areas to female staff/visitors only, or are exceptions made for male nursing staff?

    To clarify, I am not referring to the exam area, only reception and waiting areas, and more specifically, areas where females may be in hospital garb awaiting their exam.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Sacred eagle
    In the US there are no male mammographers. The way I learned this was to call each state licensing agency that oversees mammography. The ARRT in Minnesota was no help. There were only 34 states that had licensing agencies. The one in Arizona, the MRTBE, will tell you up front there are no male mammographers in Arizona. For the states that don't have a states licensing agency I called the ultrasound repair companies. They perform annual service on all ultrasound equipment and they told me they never saw any male mammographers,ever. I then found a forum regarding mammography, one of the questions posed was if anyone has ever seen a male mammographer. There were several thousand posters and not one Has seen a male mammographer. Additionally, some facilities won't see male patients with gynecomastia on the basis that their female patients would feel uncomfortable sitting in the same room with a male patient. You can draw your own conclusions on the level of discrimination this creates.
  4. by   elkpark
    I've got to say that I am a female, long-time nurse, who has no concerns about male physicians or nurses for most anything, but a mammogram is so personal/intimate, with such an unusually high degree of exposure/manipulation, that (even) I would be uncomfortable with a male tech and would request a female. I agree that it is technically, legally employment discrimination to refuse to hire male mammography techs, but I also think that any male who is hired should be prepared to spend a lot of time at work sitting on his hands and twiddling his thumbs, because lots (nearly all?) of the clients are going to request female techs, and the facility has an obligation to try to accommodate that request (or, alternatively, the facility is going to lose a lot of business, which the administration will be v. unhappy about).
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 9, '12 : Reason: quoted now removed post
  5. by   itsmejuli
    I have no problem with a male MD or nurse checking out my vajayjay but when it comes to getting a mammogram I want a female tech.

    Does it make sense? Not really. I am trying to think of a good explanation but finding it difficult. I think as the poster above stated that its the manipulation of the breast that's highly personal. Maybe subconsciously I don't want any man to see my boob squished flat like a pancake.
  6. by   Sacred eagle
    Quote from elkpark
    I've got to say that I am a female, long-time nurse, who has no concerns about male physicians or nurses for most anything, but a mammogram is so personal/intimate, with such an unusually high degree of exposure/manipulation, that (even) I would be uncomfortable with a male tech and would request a female. I agree that it is technically, legally employment discrimination to refuse to hire male mammography techs, but I also think that any male who is hired should be prepared to spend a lot of time at work sitting on his hands and twiddling his thumbs, because lots (nearly all?) of the clients are going to request female techs, and the facility has an obligation to try to accommodate that request (or, alternatively, the facility is going to lose a lot of business, which the administration will be v. unhappy about).
    What if you showed up for your mammogram and there were no female techs, only male. When you voiced your concern about wanting a female tech the male tech said" suck it up, you have nothing I haven't seen before." Now you know what it is like to be a male patient,and with 95 percent all nurses female, this is the double standard discrimination mentality.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 13, '12
  7. by   elkpark
    Quote from Sacred eagle
    What if you showed up for your mammogram and there were no female techs, only male. When you voiced your concern about wanting a female tech the male tech said" suck it up, you have nothing I haven't seen before." Now you know what it is like to be a male patient,and with 95 percent all nurses female, this is the double standard discrimination mentality. O.
    While you clearly (from your many posts on this topic) feel that you've had some really bad experiences, and I don't doubt that other men may have, also, your post makes it sound like this is a given, everyday experience for all male clients in healthcare settings across the board, and it is a given that all female nurses exhibit the attitude and behavior you describe. I have certainly never treated a male client in the way you describe, nor am I aware of anyone else I have worked with over the years (almost 30 years of nursing, in five different states) treating a male client in that manner. Everywhere I have worked over the years, we have made every effort to accommodate a male client's request for a male staff member to perform any kind of personal care/procedure, and to treat every client with dignity and respect. Are we always 100% successful? I'm sure not, but that doesn't mean that we didn't care and we didn't try.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 13, '12
  8. by   AnonymousCanadian
    Thanks for all replies. Just to clarify once again, I am not referring to exam areas, only waiting areas where female patients are in hospital garb awaiting their exam.
  9. by   elkpark
    Quote from AnonymousCanadian
    Thanks for all replies. Just to clarify once again, I am not referring to exam areas, only waiting areas where female patients are in hospital garb awaiting their exam.
    That I would have no problem with, and can't imagine anyone else objecting to.
  10. by   orangeandbluetrue
    Quote from elkpark
    I've got to say that I am a female, long-time nurse, who has no concerns about male physicians or nurses for most anything, but a mammogram is so personal/intimate, with such an unusually high degree of exposure/manipulation, that (even) I would be uncomfortable with a male tech and would request a female. I agree that it is technically, legally employment discrimination to refuse to hire male mammography techs, but I also think that any male who is hired should be prepared to spend a lot of time at work sitting on his hands and twiddling his thumbs, because lots (nearly all?) of the clients are going to request female techs, and the facility has an obligation to try to accommodate that request (or, alternatively, the facility is going to lose a lot of business, which the administration will be v. unhappy about).
    While everyone as a patient is entitled to whatever makes them comfortable, I would say I find it odd that a mammography could be any more personal and/or intimate than a pelvic exam. Aside from the fact that to my knowledge during a lot of (most?) PAP's the doctor frequently may also perform a breast exam. I've seen gynecologists who are not very discreet with patients and a pelvic exam seems like it places the patient in a much more vulnerable position. Personally I'm all for patient comfort level and preference and I would consider it reasonable, especially in the sense of preventative or screening medicine (not an emergency) to request a male or female and if that request can't be met at that particular time then to decline the service and reschedule. I guess that's the beauty of having men and women available in the different aspects of health care now days....one or the other doesn't necessarily hold a monopoly on any of the professions and it gives patients more choices for comfort or other reasons. Now aside from an emergency situation like cardiac arrest or something like that, there's few reasons not to be picky and choose who YOU want doing a given procedure or test.
  11. by   RiskManager
    I have accompanied my wife to mammograms, in waiting, gowning and the actual radiology suite, at her request and to hold her purse and various articles of clothing. No one has ever said anything to me in this regard. And some of those exams were at facilities in which they did not know I was the risk manager, so I don't think that was a key factor.

    PS: now that I think about it, I have male and female ultrasound techs, so I should ask them about who does what in terms of a vaginal or a prostate ultrasound.

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