Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technicians, AKA MRI technologists, are radiologic technologists, nuclear medicine technologists, sonographers or radiation therapists who are specialized in magnetic resonance imaging which uses cutting-edge technology to generate three-dimensional, high-definition images of tissues and organs inside the body. MRI technologists are mostly employed by hospitals (because of the nature of the MRI scanner and its costs), though as the diagnostic equipment becomes more affordable, MRI technician’s jobs are now available at imaging centers and physicians’ offices.
MRI technicians’ main responsibilities include explaining the imaging procedure to the patient (reducing anxiety and getting their cooperation), preparing and positioning the patient correctly, operating the MRI scanner (adjusting scan sequences and contrasts to improve picture quality, reviewing and evaluating images for technical quality), and recording the images to be interpreted by a physician. They are also responsible for ascertaining patient safety in the MR environment before they enter the magnetic field, monitoring patients’ conditions and reactions, and reporting abnormal signs to a physician.
MRI technology programs are available at different levels of education, including associate, diploma, or bachelor’s level. After completing a training program (which varies in length, but generally takes 1½ to 2 years to be completed), an MRI technician has to be certified in order to work in the healthcare environment.