MRI Technician Schools
MRI technician schools provide education necessary for students to learn how to operate a cutting-edge type of X-ray device called a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. Invaluable to accurately diagnosing tumors, internal bleeding, musculoskeletal damage and brain diseases, MRIs offer physicians the benefits of high-quality, detailed images without exposing patients to the dangers of ionizing radiation.
Students attending MRI technician schools learn about the science behind magnetic resonance imaging, how to prepare a patient for an MRI and the different conditions that are detectable through an MRI. MRI technician classes culminating in an associate's (two-year) degree and certification status typically involve the following subjects:
What Skills Should an MRI Technician Have Prior to Beginning a Degree Program?
- Human anatomy and physiology - MRI technicians are responsible for scanning targeted areas of the body and must know where specific organs, bones and physiological systems are located in the body.
- Procedure protocols - Instructors hold labs for students to show them how to capture images of specific body areas, prepare patients for an MRI by properly positioning them on the scanning table and understanding digital data submitted by the machine during a scan.
- Medical terminology - Students learn the names of MRI components, lab tests associated with MRIs, conditions assessed by MRIs and other terminology that facilitates communication with surgeons, physicians and nurses.
- MRI pathology results - MRI technician school instructors have students compare normal MRI images with abnormal MRI images to learn whether the image is applicable to the physician's needs. An incorrect or imperfect MRI image will delay diagnoses and treatment and precipitate the need for another MRI to be performed.
Students wishing to pursue a career as an MRI technician should be sensitive and compassionate towards patients' needs, physically capable of manipulating complicated equipment and be able to clearly communicate primary results of an MRI to the appropriate medical professional. Attention to detail, good interpersonal and math skills and some level of technical agility are also helpful to students wanting to be MRI technicians.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that MRI technician positions are expected to rise 21 percent over the next decade, which is considered faster than average compared to other occupations.