Jenny Huynh envisioned a health care career as a child in Vietnam, where medical resources were often scarce.
Today, as a mammography technologist at Keck Medicine of USC — Arcadia, she delivers lifesaving screenings to help women and their doctors detect breast cancer.
What does your job entail?
In addition to performing mammograms, a crucial part of my job is to be caring — to listen to patients and to show them I understand.
I stay friendly no matter what, and I’m always joking with my patients to distract them from their worry and any physical discomfort.
And if the patient has any abnormalities, I’m the one who calls them and schedules their follow-up.
What keeps you motivated?
You know, I’m inspired every time I do a mammogram. My responsibility is to help save lives while encouraging all patients to take care of their health.
If a patient turns out to have cancer, I at least know that I have helped them.
I’ve had some patients come up to me with tears in their eyes, even in grocery stores, to give me a hug for detecting their cancer early.
What should patients know before their first mammogram?
First-time patients are always scared. They’ve been exposed to people and media saying how painful it is.
But these stories are typically exaggerated, and everyone’s experience is different. Even if an unusually sensitive patient feels some pain, it only lasts five seconds per picture.
Mammograms catch cancer before it can be felt in the breast, which makes the disease a lot easier to treat.