Magnetic Resonance Technology

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, to obtain images and monitor patients during scans.

Unlike X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to make images. MRI can be used to:

  • Study the vascular system
  • Find tumours, especially in the brain and spine
  • Create images of soft tissues such as muscles and tendons

Because MRIs are a unique type of technology, they require special considerations for patient care and safety. Magnetic resonance technologists are responsible for anyone (patients, staff, visitors) who comes in contact with the MRI machine’s powerful magnetic field. Magnetic resonance technologists set the machines and related equipment to operate properly. When patients need contrast media (dye) to make images visible, the magnetic resonance technologists are the ones who inject it. During the scan, the technologist checks the images as they show up on the monitor.

The College has adopted the National Competency Profile (NCP) maintained by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) for the medical radiation technology specialties we regulate. Previous competency profiles for these specialties have been rescinded. The College acknowledges that the NCP reflects current practice in Alberta.

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