Using a combination of technical skills, people skills, and physical stamina keeps the job of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists – or MRI - interesting and challenging. MRI technologists put patients at ease and provide essential medical information in a career focused on operating MRI scanners to create diagnostic images. MRI technologists prepare patients for procedures, taking their medical history and answering questions. They inject patients with contrast dyes that interact with magnetic fields to produce images that physicians use to diagnose medical problems. During the MRI procedure, technologists correctly position the patient, shield exposed areas, and operate the equipment to take the images. They must follow physicians’ orders precisely to capture the correct images, and keep detailed patient records. MRI technologists put patients at ease, helping them cope with pain or mental stress. They use technical skills to understand and operate complex equipment. They also work on their feet much of the day, lifting and moving patients when needed. MRI technologists work in healthcare facilities; more than half work in hospitals. Most work full time, and may work evenings, weekends, or are on call where emergency imaging is needed. An associate’s degree combining classroom and clinical training is the most common educational path. Coursework should include anatomy, patient care, radiation physics, and image evaluation. Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists who develop specialization in MRIs. Licenses or certification to practice is required in some states.
What they do:
Operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners. Monitor patient safety and comfort, and view images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures. May administer gadolinium contrast dosage intravenously. May interview patient, explain MRI procedures, and position patient on examining table. May enter into the computer data such as patient history, anatomical area to be scanned, orientation specified, and position of entry.
On the job, you would:
Conduct screening interviews of patients to identify contraindications, such as ferrous objects, pregnancy, prosthetic heart valves, cardiac pacemakers, or tattoos.
Operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.
Select appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
medicine and dentistry
Math and Science
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic medical record EMR software
Office suite software
associate's degree or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
per year, on average
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