MRI Safety Training

This course meets the requirements for hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize NYS Dept. of Education approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. A certificate will be emailed to you upon successful completion.

Take the Test

What is MRI

  • 3 dimensional imaging
  • Non invasive
  • Great detail
  • No Ionizing Radiation


  • Raymond Damadian (Father of MRI) invented first MRI machine in  1970’s
  • 1977- First MRI performed on human
    • First diagnostic scan achieved was of a finger
      • Took 2 hrs. to produce one image
  • 1980 – First commercial scanner was presented
  • 1990’s – Large hospitals and imaging centers begin to utilize MRI for  neuroimaging and musculoskeletal imaging
  • 2008-2009 – MRI gained popularity in Veterinary medicine

Types of MRI Machines

  • Closed
    • High field, fast, great detail, very loud, high  maintenance, expensive
      • Can be very dangerous because of the  strong magnetic force
  • Open
    • Low field, great for claustrophobic patients,  low cost, low maintenance
      •  Less concern for accidents
  • Standing
    • Low field, for extremities only, not as desirable
      • Very limited

Our New MRI Machine

GE 1.5T

High field, closed magnet

*** safety concern ***


  • Superconducting
    • Depend on Cryogen
  • Own separate room
  • Excellent detail
  • Excellent speed
    • MRI proof surrounding (floor, walls and ceiling)
    • Very loud
    • Concern for safety
  • Permanent
  • Cage enclosure
  • Fair detail
  • Can come with delay
    • RF Cage
    • Fairly quiet
    • Still a safety concern but not as much


  • QA- Daily
  • ACR- Weekly
  • Cold Head- Daily (audible)
  • PM (Preventative Maintenance)- Biannually
  • Coils- Daily (visual)
  • Temperature- Daily
    • Additional expense of Helium

The whole purpose of completing these tasks is to demonstrate consistency in system performance, to identify potential problems and remedy any issues before they become a problem.


  • MRI scans put you at risk for radiation exposure and can cause cancer
  • Closed and Open MRI machines are equally effective
  • MRI scans are used only for physical injuries
  • No radiation therefore, No harm can be caused


  • MRI is one of the safest diagnostic tests used today
    • While relatively safe, MRI’s can pose unique safety hazards for patients and others near or inside the magnetic resonance (MR) environment
  • Not everyone can get MRI
    • Restrictions may apply to certain patients
      • Pacemaker, aneurism clips, hearing aids, insulin pump, medication patches, pregnant or breast feeding.
  • It is possible to get injured in the MRI if proper precautions are not taken

Contradictions For MRI

  • Heart pacemakers
  • Certain or recent tattoos
  • Metallic fragments in the eye due to prior injury
  • Aneurism clips
  • Hearing aids
  • Neurostimulators
  • Insulin pumps
  • Medication patches
  • Metallic nail polish
  • Pregnant or breast feeding

MRI Research Suggests

  • There are no known adverse biological effects that have been demonstrated to the levels of magnetic RF field and exposure to MRI
    • However, the safety for a newborn, embryos and fetuses has not been demonstrated. More research and studies are pending
  • Mild adverse reaction such as: nausea, headache, ear ringing and in some cases insomnia has been noted in undisclosed subjects

For more information on MRI safety please visit

There Are 4 MRI Safety Zones



  • Zone I– This includes our parking lots and entrances to the hospital. There are no restrictions
  • Zone II– This includes our ER, hallways and surrounding areas that have access to MRI environment
  • Zone III-Control room. Restricted Access to only trained MRI personnel. (This is in the back wing where The Radiation Oncology is located)
  • Zone IV-Magnet room. Restricted Access! No one is allowed in the room. Everyone must be screened each and every time. Under Direct Supervision of a trained MRI Technologist at all times

Accidents in MRI

  • Burns from cables, recent tattoos
  • Oxygen tank, paper clips, name tags, clippers, scissors flying towards the magnet
  • Any metallic object, big or small will be attracted by the magnetic force!
  • Death do to negligence

The answer to avoiding accidents in MRI is

  • SCREEN, SCREEN, SCREEN AND USE CAUTION. Each and every time!

The Main Parts of the MRI Machine Are

  • RF Coils
  • Gradient Coils
  • Magnet
  • Patient table

MRI machine can cost as much as $1 million

Depending on the manufacture, age and field strength

Maintenance and service is very expensive as well, ranging anywhere from $30+K a year

Coils can cost $10,000+ each

MRI exam can range anywhere from $1,000+ for humans and $3,000+ in the veterinary medicine

Depending on institution, body part, contrast necessity, ventilator, sedatives etc.

If quench becomes necessary, it is extremely costly +/-$50,000 and 1-2 months down time

Sum It Up

  • MRI machines are very expensive
  • Maintenance is necessary and very pricy
  • Coils and some parts are not covered under service agreement (extra out of pocket cost)
  • MRI environment can quickly become hazardous if proper precautions are not taken
  • ONLY MRI compatible equipment is permitted in the MRI suite
  • ONLY MRI trained personnel is to enter restricted area