Stress-Free Appointments: Tips for Scheduling Your Mammogram
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By South Jersey Radiology Associates

Have you ever waited in an endless line at an amusement park, inching forward one slow step at a time, wondering if the thrill at the end is worth the hour spent in anticipation?

Waiting in line for your favorite ride can be a fun adventure, but sitting in the waiting room for an appointment? Not so much.

Long wait times for your annual mammogram screening may feel like an eternity. Don’t get discouraged and follow these helpful tips when scheduling your annual screening!

What Time of Day is Best?

Choosing the right appointment time is the first step toward having a stress-free visit. So, what time of day is the least busy? 

Scheduling the first slot of the day can often be the perfect time to schedule your annual mammogram. Since you are the first patient of the day, the chances of any delays occurring are very minimal. Appointments that are scheduled later in the day might be subject to delays. 

Think about it: if a person shows up late, each appointment slot thereafter may get pushed out to accommodate. 

Avoid the lunch rush – the time when everyone wants to squeeze in their appointments during their breaks. Just like waiting for that restaurant table during peak dining hours, you may find longer wait times at your office. 

Choosing a mid-week appointment can be a great way to get a quick appointment. Mondays are often busy with follow-ups, and Fridays are hectic as everyone tries to get in before the weekend.

Even better, find a women’s imaging provider that offers weekend and evening hours. Extended hours and weekend availability opens appointment times substantially, allowing for you to pick a time that will guarantee you get seen quickly. 

What is the Best Way to Schedule?

The right way to make an appointment can vary depending on your own schedule. The right women’s imaging provider should have multiple options to schedule an appointment. 

Online self-scheduling has rapidly become the easiest method to schedule an annual mammogram screening. Since an annual visit is fully covered by insurance, self-scheduling makes it very easy to make an appointment.    

Arriving on Time

Arriving on time for your appointment is important. When you are punctual, it helps the imaging provider run on schedule and get you seen right away. Often, arriving early will allow you to be seen sooner. Your time is valuable and getting back to your day sooner is always a plus!

Should I Bring Anything to My Appointment?

Being prepared for your appointment can help relieve any last-minute stress that may arise as you check in. Fortunately, the state legislature has made annual screening mammograms a lot more hassle free since they are considered a preventative care study, whereas an MRI or CT scan requires a formal referral from your doctor. 

However, there are a few key things to consider before your appointment day:

  • Confirm with the front desk receptionist who should receive the results outside of you. Since many women see an OB/GYN and a primary care doctor (PCP), it is important to disclose if just one or both should receive your results. 
  • If you are switching women’s imaging providers, it is important to ensure the new provider has your prior records. You can request prior records to be sent by your past women’s imaging provider at any time. Staying on track with annual screenings allows for year-over-year comparisons. These comparisons help catch subtle irregularities leading to better outcomes and treatment options.
  • As with any healthcare appointment, always bring your insurance card and photo identification. 

How Can I Remember to Schedule Year After Year?

Staying on track with your annual screening year after year is important. Your breast health can change very rapidly over time, making year over year comparisons key to catching any signs of breast cancer early, when treatment options are most effective. 

Many women’s imaging providers understand how quickly annual screenings can get moved down the “to-do” list. Finding a provider that provides timely reminders through email, texts, and mail can help you find time to prioritize your breast health each year. 

Scheduling your annual mammogram around the same time every year is another easy way to stay on track. When you go for your annual screening, speak with the front desk about scheduling ahead of time for next year. They would be happy to do so! 

Choose South Jersey Radiology Associates 

Recognized as the region’s first Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, South Jersey Radiology Associates (SJRA) helps more than 55,000 women each year prioritize their breast health. Our 8 office locations across the South Jersey and Philadelphia area offer weekend and evening hours, as well as online self-scheduling and schedule ahead options. We all have a reason to make breast health a priority. Find your reason today at SJRA.com

As recognized by local doctors and specialists, see who from South Jersey Radiology made it onto SJ Magazine’s “2023 Top Doc’s” list here!

November 2023
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