MRI Technician Salary and other Essential Facts
October 16, 2013
Magnetic resonance imaging is essentially a safe and painless way to get diagnosed for a certain type of illness that lingers inside the body. It is basically a diagnostic exam used by radiologists to locate anomalies in the lungs brain bone or any other tissue found in the body. Unlike other diagnostic exams like CT scans and X-ray, the MRI is safe for patients because they will not be exposed to any type of harmful radiation. Unfortunately, since the machine does operate on magnetic principles, patients with metal implants in the body such as cardiac pacemakers and cochlear implants are not allowed inside the machine as the magnetic pulses may cause electronic malfunction.
MRI technicians are crucial healthcare personnel in the hospital and the need for them is rising- just like many other healthcare professions. MRI technicians have a lot of responsibilities that involve them, the patient, the machine and the radiologist they may work with. Since they are entering the healthcare territory, they need to constantly upgrade their skills in order to become better professionals. Technological advancements in the healthcare field have prompted many healthcare professionals to upgrade their skills so they don’t get left behind. As someone who works closely with people, the MRI technician’s interpersonal skills must be flawless as dealing with patients can be a very tiring task. The MRI machine is not only dark and cramped; it also emits very loud humming noises that may freak the patient out during the exam. It is the MRI technician’s lookout to keep the patient as comfortable as possible during the procedure as it takes 60-90 minutes to finish an entire exam. Once the exam is over, they need to show the results to the radiologist. Though MRI technicians know enough about the normal anatomical structures found in the scan, they are not allowed to interpret the scan in front of the patients. They can at least show the scan to the radiologist who can properly interpret the anomalies found in the film.
MRI technician schools are widely available in community colleges, technical schools or even online schools. Different states have different requirements for enrolling in a school so enrollees have to do their fair of research. Though all schools require only a high school diploma or equivalent in order for a student to enroll, some schools require their students to take CPR classes first.
Education is important to many employers as they need highly competent individuals to operate the machines. The level of education you have is important because it will show the career path you are most likely to take. It takes only two years to accomplish an associates degree, but the salary for these holders is considerably less. Add another two years and you will have a bachelors’ degree and a possible job in an administrative position. The average salary MRI technicians earn in a year is around $50,000 to $55,000.
Once you graduate, you will have to pass a certification exam from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Many states do not require certification from their MRI technologists, but a good employer always learns to appreciate those who have made the extra effort to prove their worth.