What Do Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Do?
Magnetic resonance imaging technologists are responsible for operating Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners with patient safety and comfort in mind. They are responsible for viewing images of the scanned areas to ensure that the resulting pictures of the body are as high in quality as possible. They are often responsible for administering intravenous dye solutions to help create a contrast in the body to increase the sharpness or effectiveness of the scan. As a MRI Technologist, you are often required to interact with patients and work on the computer.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Skills and Abilities
As an MRI technologist, you must have extensive experience with computers and electronics, as well as medical and dental issues. You will often be required to listen to patients and communicate your instructions effectively. Operating the machinery is key, and requires you to watch dials, gauges and other instruments to ensure the MRI machine is operating properly, which keeps patients and staff safe. This requires in-depth monitoring skills, which includes the ability to effectively monitor yourself, other people and organizations in order to ensure that these highly technical, expensive machines are well-kept and expertly operated.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Duties
The main duties of an MRI technologist revolve around getting images of patients for diagnosis of conditions. This requires you to be able to assist and care for others, get all relevant information from patients and computer read outs, interact efficiently with computers, and document information. Many technologists must perform the following duties during this time:
- Patient screenings for contraindications to intravenous dyes, ferrous object, and medical conditions that could make MRI diagnostics dangerous
- Operation of the MRI scanner
- Choose the best imaging techniques to produce the desired images
- Inspect images for quality
- Position patients for optimal imaging
- Write reports for physicians regarding images and findings of diagnostics.Many MRI technologists are also required to calibrate and maintain the machines on which they work.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Tools and Technology
The most common tools that you will be required to use include blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, body plethysmographs and the actual magnetic resonance imaging scanner. You may also be required to use calibration phantoms or devices, such as laser cameras, to ensure the machine is calibrated prior to use. You will have daily interaction with medical software, especially those programs used to view the readouts and images produced by the scanner. Other rudimentary knowledge of calendar and scheduling software, as well as email and internet software, are often required.
Education and Training for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
An associate’s degree is often the minimum education required for entry into the field. Over 45 percent of technologists have an associate’s degree, while almost 20 percent have a Bachelor’s degree. Few in the field have more education than that as it is not required for upwards mobility in the profession.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Salary
MRI Technologists are extremely well-compensated for their highly technical work. The lowest 10 percent of workers make over $46,000 annually, while the upper 10 percent earn an average of $92,200 each year. The median salary in the US is just over $67,000.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Jobs by Geography
Some people in various locations around the nation earn significantly more than the average. Techs in Nevada have the highest annual median wage, although those in Hawaii and California are close behind. However, Texas has the highest number of MRI technologists when considering population, followed by Utah and South Carolina. Texas, Florida, and California have the highest physical number of MRI techs in the nation. All of these locations should be considered when you decide where you would like to start your career.