This post presents detailed information on the MRI technologist career, including how to become a magnetic resonance imaging technologist, the various career opportunities available, and the challenges of the job and its benefits.
Please, read on:
MRI Technologist Career Opportunities
Here are the various career opportunities open to an MRI technologist:
- Lead MRI Technologist
A lead MRI technologist is a medical professional who is responsible for running the MRI unit, working with the staff, and developing new projects.
They direct and monitor the flow of patients.
They will perform various duties such as attending to incoming patients, obtaining patient histories, taking patient data, logging out reports, maintaining an inventory of supplies, performing cold-stare examinations and other diagnostic procedures on adult patients.
2. MRI Supervisor
The MRI supervisor is in charge of all aspects of equipment maintenance, safety practices and quality assurance at the scanning facility.
MRI supervisors develop, train, and supervise all the departmental functions done in the scanning facility.
They report to the director of the department and must work with other departments, such as scheduling, finance, and project planning.
3. Senior Staff Technologist
The senior staff technologist is the person who is responsible for running the scanner, ensuring all safety and security protocols are followed, managing all electrical and maintenance personnel, and training and supervising technicians.
Senior staff technologists also ensure that all scanning equipment is working properly and make sure that it has proper calibrations.
4. MRI Department Manager
The MRI department manager oversees the equipment repair, maintenance and long-term care of the various scanning platforms.
MRI department managers monitor and maintain the equipment and ensure that the facility has proper safety and security practices.
They lead a team of technicians that performs technical tasks such as maintenance, diagnosis, and troubleshooting.
5. Medical Director
Medical directors work among medical staff at hospitals, universities, and other healthcare facilities to provide assessment of diagnostic imaging systems (DICOM), explaining the difference between test interpretation and medical diagnosis.
They are responsible for interpreting results, coordinating resources, performing reports, communicating effectively with hospitals, and referring patients to specialty centers.
Medical directors also provide consultation on advanced diagnostic imaging systems.
6. MRI Director
MRI directors work in academic and research institutions headed by a board of trustees or governors.
They steer the institution’s vision and provide guidance to the operational side of affairs, handling the resources necessary to conduct MRI procedures, and training the right people to run the department appropriately.
MRI directors are responsible for evaluating applications, reviewing reports, and managing funds, as well as maintaining relationships with medical professionals and patients.
They may oversee research projects as well as fund-raising strategies.
7. Chief Technologist
Chief technologists work in academic or medical facilities, and they oversee the operations of the department.
They manage their staff and see to it that all hospital or department policies are followed.
Chief technologists provide assistance in the interpretation of biomedical imaging studies, such as MRI, CT, and PET.
8. Clinical Director
Clinical directors work in hospitals, clinics, and health centers to ensure patients undergoing diagnostic imaging procedures receive quality care from the MRI technicians and staff.
They are the liaison between the patient and the technicians and do the interpretation of MRI results under their supervision.
Clinical directors are responsible for communicating with medical professionals to understand the technical aspects of imaging.
9. Research Administrator
Researchers will handle administration functions such as editorial, grant writing, statistical analysis, maintaining databases, designing experiments and protocols, and providing support to study staff in complex experiments.
They will also be responsible for handling patient data, which can include acquiring information from other departments such as finance, human resources, or marketing.
10. MRI Sales and Marketing
An MRI sales and marketing professional will be responsible for managing the overall image of their agency.
They will work with team leaders to boost operations of the department and develop new sources of revenue.
They are responsible for making sure that their company meets its goals, by identifying prospects, analyzing data, and targeting regions or cities with special market potential.
Challenges faced by MRI Technologist on the Job
MRI technologists face several challenges while on the job. These may include:
- Maintenance Requirements
As an MRI technologist, you may be required to perform some technical maintenance during your shift, such as cleaning the scanner and replacing certain parts when they break down.
You may also be required to test the scanner for any malfunctions that may occur during your shift.
2. Can be Very Stressful
Working as an MRI technologist can be very stressful since in addition to the obvious physical dangers due to the presence of strong magnetic fields, you may also be exposed to health hazards related to occupational exposure to some types of hazardous chemicals, such as those used in disinfectant sprays.
You may also have to face large number of patients who may verbally abuse you and insult you when they are having a hard time during their examinations.
3. Long Working Hours
MRI technologists have to work long and hard hours just like other members of the medical field.
This can be very tiring, especially because you need to work with high-speed machines that generate high temperature and high magnetic fields.
4. Changes in the Job
As MRI scanners get better, new procedures emerge and different types of equipment are developed to be used for certain procedure so the skills needed for your job may change over time hence you have to continuously learn new things as well as update on newer technologies.
How to Become an MRI Technologist
Here are the six stages you will need to go through to become an MRI technologist:
- Earn an Associate’s Degree
An Associate’s degree is usually required for most MRI programs and certifications.
Students can pursue an Associate degree in any discipline. Most aspiring MRI technologists major in Biology, Anatomy, Physics, or a closely related field.
2. Enroll in an MRI Technician Training Program
Candidates for MRI certification must first complete an MRI tech program.
Aspiring MRI technologists should apply to MRI programs that are accredited.
The American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (AMRIT) and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) are accreditation organizations.
Another accreditation organization is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
MRI tech programs often mix standard academic training with hands-on experience with MRI techniques and tools.
Students study MRI physics, cross-sectional anatomy, patient care techniques, MRI image interpretation, and other relevant topics.
3. Accumulate Clinical Experience
Aspiring MRI technologists can obtain practical work experience at a clinic or hospital through MRI clinical experience.
Some students may undergo clinical training as part of their MRI program, whereas others may seek clinical training on their own.
Clinical apprenticeships allow individuals to work with a genuine MRI technician while honing their abilities.
4. Acquire Certification
All MRI techs must be certified by a legitimate organization, and the most popular certification is the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
ARMRIT, on the other hand, grants MRI certificates. After finishing an MRI tech school and gaining job experience, professionals can pursue this certification.
5. Obtain a State License
Licenses are required in some states for MRI technologists. Before applying for MRI jobs, make sure to research the legal criteria in your state.
6. Continue your Study or Obtain other Qualifications
To become a supervisor, MRI techs can improve themselves by taking the necessary higher professional training programs.
Some people may choose to take classes and obtain certifications for various types of medical technician positions, such as Sonography or Radiography.
Others may pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Radiologic Technology, Chemistry, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Imaging Sciences, or a closely related discipline.
Benefits of an MRI Technologist Career
There are many benefits that you get when working as a MRI technologist, considering the fact that your job involves interacting with people and helping them.
The major benefits of the MRI technologist career include:
- Good Pay
MRI technologists, especially those in the United States, earn above average wages. They can earn salary $80,000 to $180,000 per year.
2. Good Career Prospects
There will always be a demand for MRI technologists because they play a crucial role in the medical field.
As new technologies and equipment are developed, there will also be new roles for MRI techs.
3. Constant Training and Education
There will always be new techniques and equipment to familiarize yourself with as a MRI technologist.
As much as possible, it is best to keep yourself updated with the latest in this field of technology so that you can continue working without any problems.
4. Job Security
MRI technologists do not have a set retirement age so they can keep working at their profession for their entire lives.
With a job that does not require you to retire, you can be a good stayer because MRI technologists are always needed in the medical field.
5. Flexibility of Schedule
MRI technologists do not have to show up to work early, because their days and hours are highly flexible.
You can work a day or night shift, or even choose to work fixed days during weekdays and weekends.
On top of this, there are different job sectors so you will be able to choose your type of work.
6. Good Benefits
Most of the time, MRI technologists receive good health insurance benefits and pension plans.
A lot of public and private hospitals offer good packages to all of their employees, including the MRI technologist.
7. Great Work Environment
Most of the time everyone in the medical field works with good attitudes; seeing people using your service may even make you feel happy because you know that you have made someone’s life a little bit better.
Becoming a MRI technologist is a good investment in your career, so you should seriously consider it if you are looking for a good career. Many doctors and nurses rely on these professionals to help their patients, and it is a very rewarding job because of the things that you can do for people.