MRI Scan: A Guide for Your Child's MRI
This section is specially designed for kids. You are going to have a special test called an MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging). We would like to tell you about the test so you will know what is going on.
Your MRI scan will be done in the Diagnostic Imaging Department. To make sure that your pictures come out clearly, you may have to skip a meal.
After you check in at the front desk, an x-ray technologist will take you back to the MRI scan area. Here, you will change clothes and put on a hospital gown. Your clothes will be put into a special locker and you get to keep the key with you while your pictures are being taken. Be sure to use the bathroom before your scan. If your doctor thinks it is necessary, a nurse may start a temporary IV (intravenous line) in order to give you special medicine. We'll be honest with you... it will sting for a moment while the IV goes in but after it is in, there should be no problem. The technologist will help you onto a special table with a cushion that moves in and out of the scanner (it looks like a big donut). For the actual MRI scan, the table will move you through the hole of the donut slowly. Being in the donut hole is like being in a long tunnel. Like any long tunnel it will be dark. The machine does not touch your body when it takes the pictures, so taking the pictures does not hurt.
The MRI scanner makes loud thumping noises when it takes the pictures. You will be given ear plugs to soften the noise. You will be asked not to move in order to get a good picture.
Each part of the body takes about 30 minutes to scan. It is important to lie very still on the bed while the MRI scanner takes the pictures so that the pictures will not come out blurry. The medicine given to you in the IV can help you sleep through this part.
The person you came in with can either sit in the room with you while the MRI scanner takes the pictures, or wait in the waiting room.
There is always someone in charge of the scanner. He or she can see you through a window at all times, and hear you through a microphone. You may also hear this person telling you how long each picture will take.
If you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask!