Mammotome Associates pose with the Mammotome Revolve at a Tradeshow

From Clinical to Corporate

Former clinicians share their decision to change career paths

At Mammotome, our expertise and compassion for breast care makes us the indispensable partner to physicians, clinicians and patients. Much of this expertise comes from our associates who formerly worked as clinicians in breast centers. We sat down with three Mammotome associates to talk about their decision to change career paths as Technologists and Mammographers to a role within the medical device industry.

Let’s start by introducing Demia Steines, Amanda Woods and Deb Miller.

Demia Steines, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

Former Radiologic Technologist

Demia Steines has worked in the breast care field for over 25 years, starting as an X-ray Technologist. She then moved into a full-time Mammographer position before eventually transitioning into conducting breast ultrasounds and biopsies under all modalities (Ultrasound, MRI and Stereotactic). Demia’s passion for the breast care industry developed “by helping women who were facing a truly apprehensive and scary diagnosis, start their journey with compassion and highly personalized care.” She now works for Mammotome as a Clinical Applications Specialist (CAS).

Demia Steines
Amanda Woods

Amanda Woods, Mammotome Professional Education Specialist

Former Ultrasound Technologist and Breast Sonographer

Before becoming a Professional Education Specialist at Mammotome, Amanda Woods started working in general ultrasound (abdomen, thyroid, pelvic, msk, vascular) and rotated between a hospital and a breast center. Over time she developed a passion for breast care. “It’s a high-anxiety situation for many patients to be in. Knowing I’m doing the best job I can for them when conducting their breast ultrasound and offering them comfort and kind words to help them through a stressful situation was so fulfilling. I really connected with many of the patients who came in for a breast ultrasound on a level I rarely experienced in the general setting. My passion grew and when I was offered a position as the lead breast sonographer, I did not hesitate to accept it.”

Deb Miller, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

Former Mammographer ARRT, RT, (R)(M)

Deb began studying X-rays immediately after high school. “Part of this training involved mammography, which at the time took close to an hour to conduct using cassettes on the end of an x-ray table. We certainly have advanced since then. I feel proud to have been part of the journey in advancing mammography to what it is today.” Deb worked in CT, X-ray, and mammography for years before becoming a manager at a walk-in private radiology office, helping them open a second branch. She then assisted a mobile ultrasound company in extending a mobile mammography division which “…was an incredibly challenging and rewarding job.” After that she helped launch the Piper Breast Center, which “exclusively performed mammograms, breast ultrasound and stereotactic biopsies.”

Deb Miller

What are some of the memories from your time working hands-on in a breast care facility that stick with you even today?

Demia Steines, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

For me it was when a patient would have a mammogram and remember me when returning for additional procedures. I used to go to the store and people would remember me and stop to talk about their procedure and when they had their next mammogram. It was truly heartwarming to have people remember me and how I helped them through a difficult time.

Amanda Woods, Mammotome Professional Education Specialist

I have both good and bad memories that stick with me. The bad ones are those that were not great results for the patient but were such a huge learning moment for me in my career. Good memories are those patients, a few in particular, who I scanned many times during their follow-up studies and built a strong connection with. Most of them saw great responses to their treatment before surgery and being able to tell them the difference I saw in the size of their tumor was such a good feeling for both of us.

Deb Miller, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

One of my favorite parts of being a mammographer was when a patient had the weight of the world on their shoulders, knowing there is an uncertain outcome, and the doctor and I were able to confidently and accurately perform their procedure. All while surrounding them with compassion and understanding, adjusting to each individual’s personality and emotional state.

How has working hands-on in breast care shaped your perspective on breast care and the breast cancer journey?

Amanda Woods, Mammotome Professional Education Specialist

Before working as an ultrasound technologist, I had no idea how prevalent breast cancer was. You can read statistics and think ‘wow,’ but when you see it every single day and see its effect on a person’s life, it just hits you differently. Amazingly, we have the technology and treatment to catch these cancers much earlier than we used to. Many women can catch their cancers early enough to be treated. But then you see the patients who have an extremely aggressive type or the ones who ignored their lump, and it breaks your heart. I have a lot more compassion for any person dealing with any type or stage of breast cancer.

Demia Steines, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

I have had personal friends diagnosed with breast cancer and have experienced the journey with them from start to finish. Some are no longer with us, but they are always in my heart and mind. The fact that I was by their side and gave them help and support along their journey reinforces that I was involved in an important profession and helped drive me to be emotionally and professionally involved in patients’ care.

Deb Miller, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

Working in the breast care industry, you see that the journey is different for each individual. Being in this field for 40 years, the cutting-edge technology when I started now seems archaic! Breast care technology has improved dramatically, making women’s survival rates who develop this disease so much higher.

Four women clinicians pose for a photograph

Tell us about your current role and your transition from clinical care to being part of Mammotome. What led you to make the switch?

Demia Steines, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

I switched from clinical patient care to product-based care for multiple reasons. First, I truly believe in Mammotome products. Second, I wanted to drive my professional growth and development. Third, as a Clinical Applications Specialist with Mammotome, I travel to multiple sites to help clinicians learn about interventional breast procedures and how Mammotome products can help drive positive patient care. Breast cancer must be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Mammotome products help provide a clear diagnosis. I also assist with training internal groups as well as attend regional and national trade shows.

two women in front of Mammotome sign

Amanda Woods, Mammotome Professional Education Specialist

I was looking for a new challenge. While I loved what I was doing as an ultrasound technologist in the breast center, I no longer felt challenged. Don’t get me wrong, some days and cases were difficult, but I was looking for a new challenge. So, I accepted the position as a Professional Education Specialist here at Mammotome in February 2021. Transitioning from clinical care to being a part of Mammotome was a learning curve and still is! I had to learn about marketing, as a large amount of this role is marketing focused. I also had to adjust to the new working schedule and different flow to my day, while working from home and on a large list of projects and tasks. In the clinical setting, we have our patient schedule, maybe some add-ons throughout the day, but there’s a definite end to the day and tasks when you complete your patient schedule. I’ve learned that in a corporate setting, my list will not be checked off at the end of every day and that there will always be work to be done.

Deb Miller, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

I began my Mammotome journey in 2000. I had worked with Mammotome products for years and loved stereotactic and ultrasound biopsy procedures. I excelled at them as well. In my facility, I was the working supervisor and trained each new tech or doctor that started. I quickly developed a knack for teaching, which turned into a passion. I learned about training/teaching opportunities at Mammotome through my sales rep, and at first, I was hesitant to pursue a corporate role since it was a major career shift. But I started doing some per diem work in 1999 and really liked it. When a full-time position became available, I made the jump.

What advantages do you believe working in your former breast care roles has given you in your current position at Mammotome? How has it helped your career?

Demia Steines, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

Being a Mammography Technologist has given me insight into the breast biopsy space and how Mammotome products can be utilized and adapted by hospitals and clinics. My personal experience plays an important role in ensuring that accounts understand how our products work and how they can be quickly utilized. My mammography background truly is what drove my career forward and started my journey at Mammotome.

Amanda Woods, Mammotome Professional Education Specialist

Working as a breast sonographer before coming to Mammotome as a Professional Education Specialist gave me a solid clinical background, allowing me to present our educational content in a manner that can relate our products to the clinical needs of our customers. It’s helped me understand the needs of a breast center, techs and physicians in their day-to-day work. My experience has also taught me a lot about how to read people and interact with them appropriately, including physicians – which we work with regularly here at Mammotome. It’s also helped me understand the importance of what we do here at Mammotome and how the products can make a difference in not only the day of a physician or technologist but the treatment pathway of a patient.

Two women in pink scrubs stand infront of a Sunshine Award sign

Deb Miller, Mammotome Executive Clinical Applications Specialist

Because I came up through the ranks and worked in the trenches, I completely understand the inner workings of a breast center. Supervising and being responsible for the day-to-day activities required to run a successful department allows me to walk into a center and rapidly assess what kind of day they are experiencing. Time is of the essence, and if they are running behind schedule, we must adjust our goals of being there. My past roles in this medical field have also allowed me to quickly diagnose the technologists’ and doctors’ skill sets, allowing me to begin instructing at the proper level. My goal is to help all our customers be as knowledgeable and effective as possible.

We are happy to have breast care experts like Demia, Amanda and Deb on our team! If you currently work in a breast care clinic or hospital and are interested in learning more about career opportunities at Mammotome, follow the link for more information!

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