Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist 

MRI technologists perform and work in a setting where they do diagnostic imaging tests on patients. This occurs both in a hospital and private setting.  These technologists operate and maintain the MRI scanners and capture the diagnostic images as requested by physicians. Additionally, they are responsible for informing the patients about the procedures, maintaining the state of the art equipment and most importantly keeping the patients comfortable during the actual scanning procedure. 

Duties

The MRI technologists are trained in the most up to date scanning procedures and most often are responsible for the following: 

·       Maintaining the imaging scanners and other imaging equipment is an important part of being a MRI Technologist. Having this equipment maintained will ensure that the scans are completed in a timely manner.  This is important for the MRI Technologist as well as the patient involved in the procedure.

·         The MRI Technologists are required to follow doctors’ orders for the scans.  More often than not, these orders are specific and tell the technologist what areas of the patient’s body to scan.

·         Preparing and prepping the patients for the MRI procedure is also a part of the MRI Technologists responsibility.  From informing the patient about the procedure and checking for understanding and questions to actually getting the medical history of the patient and answering their questions, the MRI technologist works to make the patient comfortable and informed about the procedure.

·        One of the most important job functions of a MRI Technologist to ensure that the patient only receives the scan on the area indicated.  The technologist is responsible for shielding areas that are not to be exposed to the imaging procedure.

·        Position Once the patient is ready, the MRI Technologist must position the patient correctly and operate the specialized equipment taking requested images of the patient from various angles (as determined by physician’s order).

·         One of the most important job details of a MRI Technologist is to keep detailed and accurate patient records.  These records are used to determine the medical diagnosis of the patients.  Therefore it is imperative that they are correctly maintained and recorded.

SALARY

Click here to see the salary for a MRI Technologist.

Working Environment

Most full-time MRI Technologist work about 40 hours a week in a hospital or private setting. Hospital-based MRI Technologist may work evening and weekend hours as well as being on call when needed. MRI Technologists most often work in healthcare offices and facilities that are well lighted and clean.  Additionally, there are some that work in mobile imaging vans that are equipped with state of the art magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

More and more hospitals and private offices are contracting these employees and they are well paid for this task.  The job itself also requires the individual to be on his or her feet for many hours and lift or rotate various size patients.

Education and Training

MRI Technologists receive formal training in radiologist and more specialized training as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist.  This training includes, but is not limited to two year programs through a hospital, radiology school, vocational facility or college. The degrees can range from certification in the program to an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in radiology. The average MRI Technologist will take classes as well as do on the job training to increase skills and be prepared for the job of MRI Technologist.  

Licensing and Credentialing

MRI technologist must be certified or licenses in most states.  However, this does vary by the state and questions pertaining to this should be addressed at the state level.  A licensed Magnetic Resonance Imaging technologist must be a graduate of a verified and an accredited radiology program.  Before being fully certified they must pass a certification exam from the state or the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists).  Once they have this certification they can complete the requirements for a MRI technologist and receive that certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.  Please remember that each state has its own requirements so please contact the state where you want to work for specific certification questions. 

Significant Points

Most MRI technologists will find that there are numerous job opportunities for those trained in this field.

Statistics show that the majority of those in this field are employed by diagnostic imaging centers, but the number in the hospitals are starting to grow.

Career Progression

More and more MRI technologists are increasing their skills and moving within their facilities to more specialized areas of diagnostic imaging.  Advancement is possible, but may be limited to supervisory or management positions.

Diagnostic Resonace Imaging Job Description Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.