Leongatha local Camilla was due for her two-yearly breast screen when the mobile screening van Nina drove into the South Gippsland town in August.
The mobile screening service tours the state to ensure women in remote and regional areas can get their breast screens. Our two vans have kept up these regular visits during the pandemic, with COVID-19 safety measures in place.
Camilla booked as soon as she received her reminder email; she'd already screened a few times and knew what to expect. Parked outside Gippsland Southern House Service, the van offered free breast screens to women aged 50 to 74.
"Arriving at the foot of the van stairs, I checked in with the contact tracing app conveniently placed on a table outside the entrance," Camilla said. "I was instantly greeted by smiling, welcoming eyes glowing from above a face mask. This friendly soul introduced herself as Trish, the receptionist, and immediately made me feel at ease.
"Suddenly, a lady from the adjoining room appeared and introduced herself as Joanne, the radiographer. She had been thoroughly cleaning, sanitising and preparing the room and machine after the previous client, in preparation for me."
This warm welcome made all the difference.
"Joanne kindly showed me into the area I've always facetiously named the 'pancake' room," Camilla said. "The state of the art, digital radiography machine was typically familiar and confronting, but I was thankful for the room's toasty-warm temperature."
The radiographer gently explained each step throughout the screen, which helped Camilla feel more comfortable and supported. This positive experience led Camilla to write about her screen on the van in a local newspaper—to encourage other women in the area to get their breast screen and share what to expect.
"Taking only ten minutes of your time, this procedure could ultimately save your life."