Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is a non-invasive imaging modality that provides optimal imaging of the body helping clinicians diagnosis patients. The imaging professionals who operate these MRI units are called MRI technologists and are normally trained in radiography with advanced certification gained through MRI tech programs which include approved learning and clinical MR training.
To earn a certificate in magnetic resonance imaging, one must already have completed a formal degree program in radiologic technology with additional MRI certification. Ideally, they should be licensed in their state and registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
How MRI Tech Programs Improve Career Outlook
The responsibilities of an MRI technologist focuses on patient care, proper positioning, adjustment of parameters and comprehensive knowledge of sectional anatomy. An MRI scanner measures how the body reacts to radio frequency waves and are weighted using specific parameters and in some cases IV contrast.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for MRI technologists is expected to grow as high as 13% in the next decade. Currently, the estimated average annual salary for MRI technologists is at $70,000. Considering the detailed knowledge and clinical training needed to achieve MR certification, compensation is high job outlook is very secure.
How to Qualify for MRI Tech Programs
Most MRI tech programs offered online or traditionally require one to hold a radiologic technology degree from a JCERT-accredited radiography program. Once complete, they will be certified radiologic technologists, which means that they already have the basic skills required to work with imaging equipment and comply with all the laws and regulations surrounding health care practice.
The MRI tech programs offered online are specially designed for these radiologic technologists working full time and focused on advancing in their career. They are practicing professionals who want to advance their career without jeopardizing their current job, position, or relationship with the organization that they work for.
What to Expect From MRI Tech Programs
A bulk of the modules taught in MRI tech programs are related to MR parameters and procedures, comprehensive sectional anatomy and pulse sequences. However, a tech trainee should also spends at minimum 500 hours of clinical training to develop the skills necessary to achieve the best imaging possible for diagnosis.
Only a handful of schools offering MRI tech programs are affiliated with ACR-accredited imaging centers in key cities of the country to provide tech trainees with the necessary clinical training to be eligible for certification. Do note that learning all the theories surrounding MRI is not enough. This requirement is outlined to complete 125 case specific exam through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Practicing as an MRI Technologist
Different states have different requirements for MRI technologists in order to practice the profession. It’s essential that you know more about the requirements in your jurisdiction. Some states require a license while for some, passing the certification exam is sufficient enough.
To sum it up, for you to practice as an MRI technologist, you must hold a degree from a JCERT-accredited school and complete MRI tech programs. You must also meet the required hours of practicum or hands-on training. Only then you’ll meet prerequisites and be allowed to the sit for the ARRT MRI certification exam.