When a patient comes for a mammogram in Kuakini’s Imaging Services department, she will most likely meet Kristen Oshiro, Kuakini’s main Mammography Technologist. Kristen treats all patients with compassion and respect – positive qualities that helped her become the first Employee of the Month for 2015.
“I watch and try to read my patients. Some people want to talk, others don’t,” said Kristen. “The key is being able to communicate with them and making them feel comfortable and safe. I try to be personable. I treat them how I would treat my family.”
A majority of her patients see her annually for their regular mammogram. Patients with cancer interact with her at least twice – for the initial biopsy and before surgery – and she understands how scared they are, she said.
“When I do their biopsies and find out that it’s cancer… I try to be strong for them so they can be strong. Before their surgery, I tell them to fight, that there are people to help and support them,” Kristen said. “Some people need just one person to be strong for them. I’m proud to be able to be a (part of their) support system.”
“Patients love her,” said Imaging Services Supervisor Chris McIntire. “She continues to exceed our expectations by providing excellent customer service. She has something special, that can’t be taught, when it comes to comforting patients during a time of great need. Twenty-eight positive reviews by patients in 1.5 months – that’s impressive.”
Kristen joined Kuakini in 2011. She graduated from Kapiolani Community College with a degree in Radiologic Technology and received her license in Mammography Technology in 2010.
When she found out that she was the Employee of the Month, Kristen said she was “surprised and overwhelmed.”
“I didn’t expect it, I was just doing my job,” she said. She acknowledged that everyone in the Imaging Services Department makes it easier for her to fulfill her job. “It really is about the team. Everybody is nice and helpful,” she said. “I like the atmosphere here in Kuakini – very homey, everybody is like family.”
During her free time, Kristen enjoys shopping, doing crafts and spending time with her family and friends.