Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a radiology technique used to form pictures of the anatomy and physiological processes in the body. While they are among the safest medical imaging procedures, many people are still nervous beforehand.
Whether you’re anxious about the results, uncomfortable with the loud noises the machine makes, or nervous that you’ll have difficulty lying still, here’s what our technologists can do to make the process easier for you.
Easing Fears with Education
Oftentimes, it’s the unknown that we’re most afraid of. Your technologist should explain the process to you, including how long it will take, what types of noises you may hear, and what you may be asked to do. Knowing exactly what to expect can give you peace of mind throughout the process.
Block Out the Sounds
Depending on the nature of your MRI, you may be able to listen to music through headphones during your scan. Aim to pick songs with a slower tempo, which can allow you to feel soothed and help relax your muscles. Some patients also choose to wear earplugs, and your technologist may offer them if that’s available.
There may be parts of the scan during which you have to stay still, and there will also be times when the machine gets loud. During the quieter portions, however, you can chat with your technologist. Let them know ahead of time that you’re feeling nervous and that talking helps distract you. They should be more than willing to keep you engaged in conversation when possible, and they’ll be able to hear you at all times in case you need assistance. You’ll have a call button within your reach so you can get their attention promptly.
Distract Your Eyes
Your technologist may allow you to wear a sleep mask if you’d prefer not to keep your eyes open during the procedure. On the other hand, some people find it comforting to maintain an open line of sight. When possible, take glimpses towards your feet, where you’ll be able to see the rest of the room, which can be calming for anyone who feels claustrophobic.
Provide Comfort Items
If you’re worried about becoming uncomfortable during the scan, you might be able to ask your technologist for a pillow to place under your head, beneath your knees, or somewhere else that will help you get into a comfortable position. Keep in mind that the images may need to be taken while you’re holding certain positions, but your technologist will work to make you as comfortable as possible.
Accommodate a Support Person
A support person may not be able to wait with you in the exam room itself, but they can stay in the waiting room throughout your scan. You may find it comforting to know that a loved one or friend will be there to keep you company after the MRI.
The caring team at Cardinal Points Imaging will help you feel at ease from the moment you arrive for your appointment. To schedule an MRI in Raleigh, NC or other imaging test/location, call (919) 877-5400 or contact us online.