Breast screening through COVID-19

Experienced radiographer Briohny Casey is just one of many staff who has worked hard to make sure clients can keep screening safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Briohny has been a radiographer for over 20 years. She works at Moorabbin BreastScreen and Monash BreastScreen Reading and Assessment Service. When COVID-19 hit, she remembers what it was like to start wearing masks and shields every day, implement new infection control standards, and minimise contact between clients, but the emotional impact stands out the most. 

Clients felt more anxious about turning up for their appointments. Briohny, like other radiographers, had to be extra attentive to these fears. 

"Clients were asking if the machine was clean, something we never heard before COVID-19," Briohny said. We began reassuring clients while also getting the best possible images efficiently. We wanted them to feel safe." 

Many clients have shared that they delayed getting their breast screen during the height of the pandemic, but they are returning now. 

"One woman put off getting her screen for a whole year," Briohny said.  

High vaccination rates in the community has helped put some clients at ease and BreastScreen Victoria continues to screen with safety measures in place. One thing that hasn't changed is Briohny's passion to keep screening for early cancer detection. 

"It's the reward of doing something good for women. We know that we can give them that peace of mind, or if there is cancer, pick it up early."