How many times a day do you pause to think about the impact that you’ve made on another person’s life? I can honestly say, for me, it doesn’t happen often. In reality, our actions, words and gestures are a constant catalyst in the outcome of another person’s perception of us or our shared situation.
Over the course of 32 years as a mammographer, I have found that simple acts of kindness – a smile, an uplifting word or taking an extra moment to truly listen to what a patient wants you to hear – builds assurance in relationships. Giving people the gift of attention and empathy makes them feel understood and creates a more open, trusting bond. As many women know, having a mammogram is a very personal exam. At Wake Radiology, we understand this stress and work to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for all patients as we take them through this potentially life-saving process.
On one occasion, I had the pleasure of taking care of a wonderful woman who was having a screening mammogram. It had been years since her last mammogram and she was very concerned because she had waited so long between screenings. Shortly after, she was called back for additional views because of an abnormality on one of her images. The area of concern was very small, but through a team effort at Wake Radiology, additional imaging and information was quickly obtained. This led to a breast biopsy, a breast cancer diagnosis, and a lumpectomy.
Weeks later, when I was at my local grocery store, I encountered this same lovely patient. We smiled at one another and she proceeded to enter the store. I had stopped to have a separate conversation, when all of a sudden, my patient came back out the door. She simply wanted to tell me how much she appreciated all of the people who had assisted her at Wake Radiology. She shared that she thought we were all wonderful and highly skilled at what we do. My patient explained that, because of the compassion and professionalism that was shown to her, we had made a “not so pleasant time in her life” more bearable. She stated that her cancer was so small that her primary physician said it could have easily been missed if not for her persistent care at Wake Radiology.
Had she not told me, I may have never known how I touched this one patient’s life. Through compassionate communication, an empathic team effort and our unwavering persistence, a positive moment was etched in her life – and mine. From then on, I’ve been even more aware that you only get one chance to make a positive, lasting impression.
I encourage all women to have a screening mammogram—regardless of how long it’s been since your last exam. At Wake Radiology, we promise to be there for you every step of the way and to provide as much information as we can about your breast health. You can request a screening mammogram appointment online or by calling Wake Radiology at 919-247-3200.