MRI technologists are an important part of the diagnostic process in many areas of healthcare. This is such a relevant field that can make a difference in the health and quality of life for many people. Using magnetic resonance imaging to create 3D images of a patient’s body takes quite a bit of skill, as well as special education and training. Certification and experience are not the only pieces of the puzzle when becoming an MRI technician. Those who are successful also must possess a particular set of traits and qualities that help them to do their job effectively.
Formal Education Requirements
To become an MRI Technologist, there is extensive formal training required. For entry-level positions, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is required. Within the career track for this degree, students will pursue coursework in anatomy, medical terminology, pathology, and other medical courses, along with MRI specific classes. Each state has specific licensing requirements, so be sure that your course of study includes everything that you will need to acquire your state license.
Certification is not a hard requirement, but some employers prefer hiring those who have been certified. Only those who are trained in schools that are accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists can obtain national certification. To maintain your national certification each year, you must complete at least 24 hours of continuing education credits. Additionally, your state may have yearly training requirements to renew your license.
Qualities of a Successful MRI Technologist
The education and training required to become an MRI technician is only a part of becoming a successful MRI technician. There are some qualities and traits that the most successful MRI technologists bring to the table. While these aren’t completely necessary, those who have these particular skills, talents, and affinities will naturally perform well in the field.
Compassion – Anyone who chooses a career in the healthcare field must be compassionate. Your patients are there because they are ill or experiencing pain. Good MRI techs understand this and truly care about the people whose procedures they are performing.
Communication – Those going through an MRI may have many questions or need a lot of verbal direction before things get underway. Doctors may have precise instructions for the tests that are being performed. There is a lot of communication within the position, making both verbal communication and listening skills extremely important.
Strength and Dexterity – MRI techs may have to lift some of their patients and assist them into the machine, manipulating them into proper position. Having physical strength and dexterity to handle moving patients and equipment as needed is essential in the imaging department.
Tech Savvy – Using high tech equipment on a daily basis and managing frequent updates and innovations are a huge part of the job of an MRI tech. Those who work in the field must be at the very least comfortable with technology and ready to embrace developments.
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