MRI technologists use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take pictures of the interior of the body.
Doctors tell MRI technologists which part of the body to image. The images created by the MRI scan help doctors diagnose and treat patients' illnesses and injuries.
Technologists meet with patients before performing the MRI scan. They answer questions about MR imaging and instruct patients on what they need to do during the exam. Technologists ask patients if they have any serious health problems. They find out if the patient is pregnant or has a device such as a pacemaker.
Some MRI exams require patients to swallow contrast material or get an injection prior to the exam. Technologists administer those materials if they are needed.
Technologists help patients onto a special table. The table is positioned inside the scanner. Technologists leave the room during the MRI exam. They operate the scanner's computer from a room where they can observe and communicate with the patient.
The MRI system scans the patient's body point by point and builds a 2-D or 3-D map of tissue as it scans. The scanner can also image flowing blood that allows the technologist to view the arterial system in the body.
Technologists help patients deal with any emotional or physical discomfort during the scan. They monitor patients' safety during testing and make sure equipment is working properly. When the exam is complete, technologists ask patients to wait while they check the images. If no additional images are needed, technologists help patients off of the table and escort them out of the room.
Technologists work with a radiologist who is specifically trained to supervise and interpret MRI scans.
MRI technologists also make sure equipment is maintained in good working order.