Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a common medical imaging test that helps diagnose health problems by actually viewing internal human body parts. MRI technicians, also referred to as radiological technicians, are professionals who are trained to operate MRI machines. MRI technician schools are educational institutes that provide the required education to the students to become MRI technicians.
What are MRI Scanner Machines?
An MRI scanner is a tunnel-shaped machine that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the internal body parts. The images obtained are three-dimensional images and hence help in easy diagnosis of health problems.
MRI scanning is usually done to detect defects in bones, presence of any tumors and problems in joints, spinal cord, heart, brain and many more internal parts of body. The images obtained by MRI scanning are used by physicians who analyze the images and based on their analysis, diagnose health problems.
MRI Technician Duties
The job of the MRI technician is to monitor the patient and operate the MRI machine through the whole process of scanning. MRI technician is not involved in analysis and diagnosing the image results. The duties that an MRI technician performs are listed below:
- Exactly interprets the physician's instructions
- Operates the MRI machine properly
- Ensures proper machine settings
- Carries out the basic MRI test
- Ensures proper working of the MRI machine
- Explains the procedure to the patients
- Keeps an eye on the safety of patient throughout the procedure
- Executes proper MRI tests as told by physician
- Tells the patient to follow the steps during the scanning
- Records the results properly
Educational Background Required to Become MRI Technician
There are two ways to become an MRI technician:
- With formal training from MRI technician schools
- By doing on-the-job training that some hospitals offer.
Usually to get a formal MRI technician training, an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree is required. The Associate Degree can be completed in a year or two while the Bachelor's Degree may need more time. The school trains the students with all the necessary knowledge and science related to operating MRI machines. There are internship programs arranged by these schools that give practical knowledge on using MRI machines.
How to Choose an MRI Technician School?
There are a few factors that should be considered before one chooses an MRI technician school, which are:
- Accreditation: The MRI technician school one is opting for should be accredited by a national accrediting agency. This is to make sure that the degree one obtains gives good career opportunities.
- Faculty: Ensure that the faculty that teaches is well experienced and has been working with the institution for quite a long time.
- Course Content: The course content of the program offered by the school should be thoroughly studied and should be compared with the industry requirements as well.
- Financial Problems: If one is facing monetary problems, they should consult the respective department of the school, as some schools offer financial help for tuition fees. One can search for schools that offer scholarships.
- Hands-on Experience: Apart from the faculty, one must also have a look at the lab facilities the institute provides. If the facilities are good enough, the technician will gain a lot of practical knowledge.
The MRI technician training consists of classroom training, instructive training and clinical training. The courses that are offered during the training for MRI technicians vary from school to school, but the basic subjects include an introduction to MRI, radiology, and subjects related to imaging, anatomy, patient care and biology.
An MRI technician's annual salary is between $30,000 and $70,000. The average salary for an MRI technician is $65,432 in America. MRI technicians can work in a hospital, a diagnosing center, or a medical office, and the salary will vary according to the place he/she is working.
MRI scanning demand indicates that it is a very good career option. One can choose from the options available for getting the certification. However, either way, it is a good medical job, and makes for a rewarding career.