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MRI Technician Duties, Job Description and Requirements

Job Descriptions February 5, 2013

Professionals involved in operating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners are known as MRI technicians. Radio frequencies and strong magnetic fields are used by MRI scanners in creating 3D images of the body tissues from a patient; these are used by physicians to help with diagnosis. Individuals aspiring to become MRI technicians can seek admission to graduate degree, diploma or programs in MRI technology.

MRI Technicians Job Description

Computerized MRI scanners are used by MRI technicians whose work is supervised by medical personnel such as physicians to take images of patients’ bodies to be used in diagnostic testing. Doctors’ offices, diagnostic imaging centers, mobile radiographic units and hospitals, among other clinical settings, are the main employers of MRI technicians.

MRI Technicians Job Duties

MRI technician’s responsibilities include interpreting physicians’ instructions, explaining MRI procedures to patients, selecting imaging parameters and software options to help adjust a MRI machine, viewing images obtained during an imaging session and keeping records of the results. They also involve themselves with maneuvering examination equipment, preparing patients for medical procedures, moving disabled patients onto examination tables from wheelchairs and positioning them for imaging.

MRI Technicians Job Skills

MRI technicians need exceptional communication skills both written and verbal, and must be sensitive to patients’ psychological and physical needs. They must pay attention to detail, possess the capacity to understand and comply with physicians’ instructions and must be team players. Additionally, they must have sufficient stamina to be able to stay on their feet during the entire workday, and sufficient physical strength needed in maneuvering patients and manual dexterity in operating the controls of a MRI machine and manipulating table straps.

MRI Technicians Education Requirements

Students in a MRI technician program should be near completion or have completed training and education as technicians or radiologic technologists. Students are expected to obtain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). MRI technology programs are offered by universities, colleges and trade schools at the graduate degree, certificate and diploma levels. Coursework in MRI programs typically focuses on subject areas such as MRI procedures, MRI instrumentation, MRI physics, imaging law and ethics, patient care and safety, and musculoskeletal pathology and anatomy. The curriculum also includes hands on experience with MRI equipment and patient care provided via rotations in clinical settings.

MRI Technicians Licensing

Licensure requirements vary from state to state; however, in the majority of states, it is mandatory for MRI technicians to possess licenses before they are allowed to practice. To obtain a license, a MRI technician has to pass the ARRT voluntary national certification examination or a state exam after completing a MRI technology program that carries accreditation. MRI technicians are required to maintain ARRT certification through continued education.

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