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Skills for an MRI Technician

Jan 28, 2011

MRI technicians are needed in large numbers. There is currently a shortage of trained MRI technicians to help do special tests called Magnetic Resonance Imaging. These tests help to diagnose a number of problems from joint pain, back pain, and even strokes. MRI technicians have a rewarding and challenging job; fortunately, now and in the foreseeable future it will be easy for MRI technicians that fit their occupational goals and personal needs.

Necessary Skills

During training to be an MRI technician, you will be learning in both a classroom and clinical setting. Anatomy will be very important for the MRI technician student to understand, as well as the physiology of the human body. Basic math skills will be necessary for the MRI technician as well as a good understanding of MRI technology and other imaging studies. It is essential for the MRI technician to have a good rapport with his or her patients and be able to provide some education to patients about to undergo MRI testing. An MRI technician will have to make sure each patient they treat does not have any contraindications for MRI studies, such as implanted devices that cannot be scanned. In addition to having an excellent relationship with patients, MRI technicians should be good communicators with other members of the health care team including other technicians, nurses, and physicians. MRI technicians should act professionally while they are on the job.

Educational Requirements

An MRI technician must first obtain a degree or certificate from a two-year program in radiologic technology. It is very important to obtain a degree from an accredited institution. The technician then should obtain an MRI technician certificate. This is usually a one year program. This type of specialized training will allow the MRI technician to operate the complicated machinery that comprises an MRI machine. It also makes them more marketable to potential employers.

Is Becoming an MRI Technician Right for You?

If you enjoy the technical aspects of anatomy and medicine, training to be an MRI tech might be a good choice for you. Due to frequent interactions with physicians and patients, an individual with great interpersonal skills might also excel as an MRI technician. Because there are more educational requirements for becoming this type of technician than other jobs in the medical field, it might be a good idea to speak with an experienced MRI tech about their job experiences and satisfaction. Other careers with similar backgrounds and training include respiratory therapist, radiology technician, ultrasound technician, echocardiography technician, or even a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse.

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