Cincinnati Children's Blog

A Walk Through MRI

A Walk Through MRI

After checking in at a kiosk and then registering, your name will be called and you will be escorted to a room by an MRI technologist, nurse, or Patient Care Assistant (PCA).

If your child will be awake during the exam, you and your child will meet with one of our MRI technologists. The technologist will have your child pick out a movie on DVD (unless you bring a favorite from home) and explain the test to you before going into the MRI scanner room. The MRI technologist will verify your doctor’s order with you as well as the reason for the exam and your child’s history. The technologist will then go over a metal screening sheet, place everything metal into a locker, and wand you and your child with a metal detector before entering the scan room. The MRI magnet is superconductive, meaning the magnetic field is never turned off. The MRI scanner has a magnet strong enough to pick up a staple in your shoe or a paper clip in your pocket. For safety reasons, the screening sheet and wand are used to assure there are no magnetic items on your body.

If your child is going under general anesthesia (GA) for the exam, you and your child will meet with one of our nurses along with someone from our anesthesia team. In some cases, the sedation is given through a gas mask. Your child will be able to pick out a special “flavor” of gas. In other instances, your child may receive sedation medicine through an IV.

If your child is getting sedation or GA, you will fill out a metal screening sheet before entering the MRI scanner room. The nurse, anesthesia doctor, and MRI technologist will complete a hold point to review the exam before administering the sedation medicine. During the hold point check, the exam, patient, and body part is confirmed. As described above, the MRI technologists will then wand you and your child with a metal detector prior to entering the scanner room.

If needed, the technologist will have your pictures checked by a radiologist who checks the images to see if your child needs any additional images. After the radiologist reads and dictates a report, your physician will be sent the results, which will also show up in the MyChart application. Some results may take up to 2-3 days.

Contributed by Laura Hanselman.

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