Prosser hospital encourages continuing mammograms during pandemic

Prosser Memorial Hospital said in the beginning of the pandemic, fewer women were coming to their campus for mammograms

PROSSER, Wash. –

“We saw a huge downward trend for the month of March, April, May, June and even into July,” Mandy Hibbs explained.

Hibbs described what their radiology department was like in the beginning of the pandemic; patients were few and far between. Hibbs, the Lead CT and Mammogram Technician for Prosser Memorial Hospital said, slowly but surely, patients are coming back in.

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“We have been completely full everyday so we’re starting to see those numbers pick back up,” Hibbs explained.

Mandy and her co-worker, Judy McCormick, the Mammography Coordinator explained how important screenings like mammograms are.

“Our goal is to find something before you feel a lump,” McCormick said.

“It is vital that we catch things early on for treatment purposes, it could mean the difference between a lumpectomy and just a removal of the lump, versus a total mastectomy
and complete removal of the breast,” Hibbs added.

At Prosser Memorial Hospital, they have a 3-D mammogram machine with a design that makes the process less painful. The women said it’s one of few in the area.

“The smart curve paddle; the comfort that it gives women upon compression of the breast,” Hibbs said.

“It spreads out all that tissue that’s layered on top of itself, there’s actually a lot going on in the breast so we want to spread it all out get a really nice clean picture for the doctor to see,” McCormick added.

Both women urge other women to continue getting their yearly screenings. To make patients more comfortable, they’ve greatly increased hygiene protocols throughout the entire hospital.

“We have tons of disinfection protocols in place, tons of laundering protocols in place; hand sanitizing hand washing,” Hibbs explained.

They also encourage women to do monthly, self-breast exams. McCormick said to feel for anything abnormal.

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