Magnetic resonance technologists, or MRI technologists, produce diagnostic images using equipment that generates radio waves and a strong magnetic field. They apply their extensive knowledge of anatomy, pathology and physiology as well as their patient care skills in order to obtain the necessary images and monitor patients during scans.
MRI technologists employ their technical expertise and understanding of magnetic resonance physics to produce images, and to ensure that the required protocols are followed within the area of the magnet in order to protect the patients and hospital staff.
Magnetic Resonance Technologists (MR) are fairly new to the profession. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) became a tool for diagnosis in the 1990s. Unlike with x-rays, MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to make images. Although still a newer technology, MRI has become an important part of medicine. MRI can be used to:
- study the blood system (vascular system)
- find tumours, especially in the brain and spine
- make images of soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons
Because MRI’s are a unique type of technology, there are special requirements for patient care and safety. MR Technologists are responsible for anyone (patients, staff, visitors) who comes in contact with the MRI’s powerful magnetic field. MR Technologists set the machines and related equipment to operate properly. When patients need contrast media (dye) to make images visible, the MR Technologists are the ones who inject it. While the scanning is being done, the MR Technologist checks the images as they show up on the monitor.
The Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) has adopted the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists’ (CAMRT) competency profiles for the medical radiation technology specialties that it regulates. Previous competency profiles for these specialties have been rescinded. The ACMDTT acknowledges that CAMRT’s profiles reflect current practice in Alberta.