Theresa Tucker, Mammography Technologist, Women’s Imaging Center, UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital
Theresa Tucker started out her career in banking. But after losing a childhood friend to breast cancer, she decided to change course. She entered the Radiologic Technology Program at Quinsigamond Community College, graduating in 1996. During her training, Theresa was a student at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital and at UMass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus. After graduation, Theresa was hired for routine radiology at University Campus, where she trained in mammography. She joined Marlborough Hospital’s Women’s Health Center in 1999. "I found where I was supposed to be," Theresa said. "I vowed to treat every patient as a friend and to do all I could to put them at ease."
The hospital's Women's Imaging Center in Southborough administers both routine and diagnostic mammograms in two mammography suites. They introduced 3D mammography three years ago, and last October, expanded patient access by adding a second 3D mammography machine. Though the schedule can get hectic, Theresa takes the time to make sure every patient is as comfortable as possible. "It's important to recognize and lower the stress these patients may be under," she said. "For many women, even if there's no family history of breast cancer, the exam can be worrisome. For women having an issue, the anxiety is higher. We want to help each patient relax and remain calm so each image is as accurate as possible."
Caregivers in the department work together and support each other. "We have great support staff, a great management team, and great techs," Theresa said. "We have a wonderful team here, and we're all committed to doing the best for each other and for every patient who walks through that door. Every patient gets A+ quality care."
Theresa enjoys chatting with patients, and she says it's a privilege to care for them and to hear about their lives. "I learn something from every patient I encounter," she said. "When a patient shares something about themselves with me, we establish a connection. Then, they can begin to relax. It's not pleasant, but I want to make the exam as easy as possible. When a patient thanks me before they leave—that makes my day. I'm just doing my job, but it makes me feel good."