Like the current craze going on for the mannequin challenge, Diagnostic Imaging Services issues this same challenge every day to people who visit us for their recommended Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam. Often times, people undergo more than one MRI in one visit as it is more convenient to have the needed tests done all at once versus returning on a separate day.
However, with one or more MRI exams, the crucial element for the person having the MRI is to be as still and calm as possible.
Why? It’s simple. Movement blurs the images and blurry images are nearly impossible to read and be interpreted by the radiologist. It’s like taking a picture with a camera and not holding the camera still. The result is a picture that’s all fuzzy and full of streaks. It’s the same with an MRI. Movements cause major image problems.
MRI scanners are complex machines capable of looking deep within human tissue to diagnose all sorts of medical conditions. But to do so, patients need to remain still inside a confined space, sometimes for long periods of time.
Our imaging teams know that it can be hard to face an MRI, especially if you’re claustrophobic, afraid of the loud noises, hate staying still or are anxious about the results. So we asked them for their top tips to get through an MRI.
- Talk to your technician: MRI is a loud scan. But the lines of communication are always open between you and the technologist operating the machine. You’ll be given a set of headphones via which you can listen to to technologist. The technologist will tell you what’s happening and answer your questions, and they can hear your reply while in the MRI.
- Choose your tunes: Staying calm is made easier by listening to the music through the headphones. DIS uses Pandora Internet Radio to offer various types of music to our MRI patients, from pop to country to classical.
- Practice mindfulness: Try this tip from one of our radiology team members: Close your eyes. Make sure there is no tension in the jaw area and be aware of your tongue sitting in the floor of the mouth. Imagine a light which radiates warmth, coming into your feet. Make it travel all the way up your body, down your arms into each finger and then back up into the neck, around the face and then sitting in the top of the head, until you wish it to leave the body.
- Wear a sleeping mask: How often do you get the chance to lie down, close your eyes and take some time out? If you’re particularly anxious about confined spaces, put a sleeping mask on before the bed slides into the bore. That way you won’t see the confined space and you won’t be tempted to look around like you might be if you simply closed your eyes.
- Let your mind take you on a trip: Pretend the MRI scanner is a transportation device that can send you anywhere in the world. Picture yourself ambling down the streets of New York City, exploring the Irish countryside or enjoying the sun on a tropical beach. If you’re having difficulty picturing it, imagine getting up and walking out of the room you’re in. Remember where the doors and stairways are. Take note of the details you noticed on your way in. Go outside and wander down the road. Pop into a coffee shop. You’re only limited by your imagination.
Our technologists are there to assist you and make your experience as relaxed as possible. It’s not always easy because medical imaging tests can be an anxious, worrisome time, That’s why choosing Diagnostic Imaging Services is important as we provide an atmosphere free of hectic, noisy hospitals and congested health system campuses.
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