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Feminism: chat

Mammography service ( not in Uk)

10 replies

Clangyleg · 21/05/2022 10:59

Two years ago during lockdown, I went for a mammogram. Uneasy when found it was in a deserted basement ( the usual place actually ) but nobody else around, neither patients or staff. Only a male radiographer who was definitely not part of the usual team who have always been women. No chaperone and didn’t like me expressing my concerns. I did go ahead though, but he treated me with contempt, very rough handling etc. not an experience I wanted to repeat. I wrote a letter to the coordinator suggesting that this man needed further training and that women should be contacted in advance if he was the only one available. I never received a reply but I did phone to check on my latest exam and was told he was no longer there.
Amazingly in the queue two years on, the was another woman who had also had the same experience and we compared notes. She too had phoned up anxious to know why would happen this time. The courtesy and care provided by the women radiographers was as usual. I was called back for a scan and was met by a young male junior member of staff. I asked if there could be a woman doing the scan . I was told this was not possible but the male doctor arrived with a woman as chaperone. Totally appropriate, as was the way the scan was done. I took the opportunity to explain why I had requested a female doctor. I was surprised by the response of the women, who told me that it couldn’t have happened , that of course mammograms are uncomfortable. I know this ,having had many, but the way I had been treated was way beyond normal. .I thought there was a non verbal exchange between the two, and I suspect they know something else. I told them I had met another woman who had also experienced the same but was told ..only 2 out of 3000.
Another complaint sent. Suggesting they pay attention to womens concerns. I now wonder whether the man was a complete imposter…
This is minor compared to what has happened in various hospitals in Uk to women and children, but we need to keep on our guard and not be gaslit.

OP posts:

ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 04/06/2022 08:11

This is unnerving. I’m glad at least two of you complained. And glad you had a better experience this time.


ThinkWittyThoughts · 05/06/2022 12:36

I'm sorry you had that experience. Keep complaining and follow up for a response if you feel comfortable doing that. The hospital may wish to sweep that period / man under the carpet but that doesn't invalidate your experience.

I'm thinking about what I would do in that situation, with the benefit of your hindsight. Given you were with a (blatantly) hostile man on your own I'm not sure what I'd do... risk his reaction if I refused?

What a shit thing to happen.


tribpot · 05/06/2022 12:49

That does sound very wrong. I had my first mammogram during lockdown, so there was no-one there except me and the (female) mammographer. I wonder how I would have felt if it had been a male mammographer (which in the UK it wouldn't have been). My guess is 99 times out of a hundred it would have been absolutely fine and as you found it on your more recent scan. But that is a very vulnerable position to be in in that one time out of a hundred.

Almost certainly there were not just two bad experiences out of 3000 as the staff are trying to claim, I would keep pushing the hospital and maybe also raise it with the appropriate professional body as well, in case he is practising elsewhere.


Clangyleg · 07/06/2022 12:33

Thanks for confirming that this should not have happened. Have still not received a reply to either letter.

OP posts:

UsernameNotAvailableHmm · 07/06/2022 17:39

That's awful for you OP, sorry you had such a horrible experience
I must admit, the imposter scenario did cross my mind too
Was there not even a receptionist to check you in?


Clangyleg · 07/06/2022 18:03

No it was during COVID restrictions but even so…

OP posts:

Clangyleg · 18/06/2022 11:11

Just received a letter of apology and some understanding of what it is like to be be confronted in a semi naked state by a man alone in a locked room. No reassurance that it could not happen again, and a statement that all employees are professional. They cannot guarantee a female radiographer or chaperone. However I now think that they have been alerted to the issue, and may make changes in the training as to what professional actual means here. So a partial success.

OP posts:

ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 18/06/2022 12:58

Hmmm, not ideal. "All employees are professional" means absolutely nothing -- men of all occupations abuse women, and no one can guarantee there isn't a bad apple in their workforce. I think a lot of women would be put off having another mammogram after an experience like yours.

But well done for persisting. At least they know they are being watched.


Clangyleg · 18/06/2022 19:13

Thanks thinking

OP posts:

tribpot · 19/06/2022 19:29

Glad they acknowledged your complaint, although 'all employees are professional' is demonstrably not true in any health service in any country in the world, or there would not be disciplinary procedures. They seem to be paying scant attention to health inequalities as well - surely there must be women who are opting out of breast screening due to the lack of reassurance around female mammographers and/or chaperones? I'd be mentioning this to your MP/equivalent.

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