Technical Standards for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Program

Our program technical standards have been developed to help students understand nonacademic standards, skills, and performance requirements expected of a student in this particular curriculum.

If an accommodation is necessary to participate in the program, it is imperative to identify a reasonable accommodation to those students who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonableness is determined by Accessibility Resources and the program on a case-by-case basis utilizing the program technical standards. The accommodation needs to be in place prior to the start of the program, or it may delay your ability to start the program. It is the student’s responsibility to contact Accessibility Resources and request accommodations.

Skills Description Specific Examples

(But not limited to the following)

Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective care. A candidate must have these abilities to provide safe care for patients in various states of mobility and awareness. 1. Manually move the imaging equipment and position it at various heights.

2. Manipulate equipment buttons and other mechanical components.

3. Properly operate computer keyboards, touch screens, and control panels.

4. Accurately draw up sterile contrast media and other solutions without contaminating the syringe and/or needles, etc.

5. Physically be able to move quickly and administer emergency care including performing CPR and using a defibrillator.

6. Have the ability to place an intravenous catheter and connect to male/female adapters.

7. Have the ability to touch your patient, palpate areas of the body, finding bony and soft tissue landmarks under the skin and manipulate anatomy to insure proper patient alignment and position.


Tactile Tactile ability sufficient for patient assessment and operation of equipment. 1. Perform palpation, tactile assessment, and manipulation of body parts to insure proper body placement and alignment for imaging exam.

2. Manipulate dials, buttons, computer mouse, and switches of various sizes.

3. Perform general assessment as to whether the patient can tolerate the procedure including vein assessment for injection, where applicable.

4. Compress/role foam ear plugs and place in patients ears for hearing protection.

Mobility Physical Abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. 1. Assist all patients, according to individual needs and abilities, in moving, turning, transferring from transportation devices to the exam table, etc.

2. Ability to push, pull and lift 50 pounds-for example, MRI imaging coils or help raise a patient’s pelvis to place a bedpan underneath them.

3. Ability to assist in team lift/transfers of patients in excess of 150lbs from stretcher to exam table and back.

4. Push a stretcher and/or wheelchair without injury to self, patients, or others.

5. Push monitoring equipment, patient IV pumps/other medical equipment from one location to another, including turning corners, getting on and off an elevator, and manipulating it in a patient’s room or over carpeting.

Vision Vision sufficient enough for observation and assessment necessary in the operation of equipment, care of patients, and completion of classroom assignments. 1. Visualize centering lights and identifying the center of the part to be scanned as well as the centering right-to-left; anterior-to-posterior.

2. Observe and evaluate patient’s body habitus (size) for proper gown or coil selection or application of other medical equipment (i.e. blood pressure cuff)

3. Visualize veins for proper use for venipuncture/insertion of intravenous lines in an often dimly lit environment.

4. Ability to observe and evaluate patient while they are on the scan table looking for changes in status from a distance of at least 20 feet.

5. Visualize letters, numbers, calibrations of varying sizes located on imaging equipment, scanning monitors, computer monitors, or syringes.

6. Ability to differentiate 8-10 shades of gray when evaluating/critiquing MR images on film or on a monitor in a dimly lit environment.

7. Ability to differentiate primary colors.

8. Visualize and observe changes in patient skin color or status-rash from contrast reaction, lack of oxygen, flushing, necrotic, inflamed or infected tissue.

9. Visualize and observe changes in medical equipment/error messages that might indicate malfunction.

10.Safely work in dimly lit rooms.

Hearing Auditory abilities sufficient to monitor and assess patient needs, and to provide a safe environment. 1. Ability to communicate with patients from a distance of 20 feet.

2. Acknowledge monitor alarms, ringing phones, door signals, helium pumps, ferromagnetic detectors, emergency signals, and cries for help.

3. Ability to communicate with patients and medical staff over the phone and via intercom systems.

4. Ability to communicate, understand, and respond appropriately to comments, questions, and instructions given in person, over the phone, or from a distance including those given when personnel are wearing surgical masks.

5. Ability to work in a magnetic field environment of 0.5 Tesla or greater without the aid of non-MRI compatible hearing devices/implants.

Communication Oral and written communication skills to communicate in English with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency with patients, their families and other members of the healthcare team, including non-verbal communication, such as interpretation of facial expressions, affect and body language. 1. Communicate with clear dictation and in a concise manner to patients, visitors, and other healthcare professionals.

2. Communicate with clear diction in a concise manner to instruct patients, relieve anxiety, and gain their cooperation before, during, and after procedures.

3. Understand patients when they are communicating symptoms of a medical emergency.

4. Read, type, and legibly write appropriate instructions and documentations in patients’ charts, MRI screening sheets, notes, and medical records accurately.

5. Document own actions and patient responses as indicated.

6. Elicit information and cooperation (i.e. obtaining patient history, gathering information for MRI safety screening, giving breathing instructions) from patients and their family members.

7. Describe changes in a patient’s mood, activity, and posture.

8. Perceive nonverbal communication (i.e. pain, lack of understanding)

9. Recognize and report critical patient information to other caregivers.

Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving Critical thinking and problem- solving skills sufficient for sound, safe clinical judgment during

the performance of MRI exams and throughout the clinical day.

1. Organize and accurately perform in proper sequence, and within a specified time, the steps required for MR procedures.

2. Ability to remember and recall

large amounts of information.

3. Ability to accurately read and transcribe illegible handwriting.

4. Ability to quickly assess patients’ conditions and other emergent situations, determine appropriate courses of action, request assistance or delegate responsibilities to other members of the healthcare team, and/or respond as needed.

5. Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations.

6. Evaluate images to ascertain that they contain proper identification and are of diagnostic value.

7. Assess patient’s condition and needs from a distance of at least 20 feet.

8. Initiate proper emergency care protocols, including CPR, based on assessment data.

9. Solve problems (i.e.: mathematical computation)

10.Comprehend three-dimensional relationships (i.e.:

anatomical relations)

11.Understand the spatial relationship of structures

12.Select modification of procedures and/or technical factors to accommodate patient age, size, condition, or extent of disease.


Professional Attitudes and

Interpersonal Skills

Present with professional appearance and demeanor; follow instructions and safety protocols and maintain a positive attitude.

Demonstrate honesty and integrity beyond reproach. Possess interpersonal abilities sufficient to

interact with individuals, families, groups, etc. from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and

intellectual backgrounds


1. Establish rapport with patients, families, and colleagues.

2. Tolerate a physically taxing workload.

3. Allow mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, healthcare workers, instructors and peers (interpersonal skills).

4. Maintain all professional boundaries with patients, visitors, and all members of the healthcare team.

5. Display flexibility and adaptions while working with diverse populations.

6. Effectively work within a team and workgroups.

7. Provide prompt and safe completion of all patient care responsibilities

8. Exhibit ethical behaviors and exercise good judgement.

9. Display compassion, empathy, integrity, concern for others, interest, motivation, and appreciation for cultural diversity.

Environmental Tolerance Physical health sufficient enough to be able to tolerate conditions present in the class and clinical setting. 1. Ability to tolerate risks or discomforts in the clinical setting that require special safety precautions, additional safety education and health risk monitoring.

2. Ability to tolerate risks and discomforts in the classroom and clinical setting that require working with sharps, chemicals, and infectious diseases.

3. Requirements to use protective clothing or gear such as masks, goggles, gloves, lead shields, or lead aprons.

4. Ability to work in noisy environments with frequent interruptions.

Mental Mental ability sufficient for patient assessment and operation of equipment and care of patients. 1. Ability to concentrate and focus attention, thoughts, and efforts on patients and equipment for varying periods of time.

2. Ability to respond to patient’s changing physical or mental condition.

3. Function effectively under stress.

4. Tolerate a mentally taxing workload.

Safety Ability to maintain a safe environment for patients, self, and all members of the healthcare team in the clinical setting. 1. Apply accepted safety standards for self and others in all imaging modalities.

2. Evaluate the imaging equipment for proper function in order to assure patients and operator safety.

3. Practice accepted MRI safety/protection techniques for self, patients, technologists, and others.

4. Detect, interpret, and appropriately respond to verbal and non-verbal communication, acoustically generated signals (call bells, monitors, phones, microphones, headphones, and alarms).

5. Be free of any implants or devices that are determined unsafe/non-compatible for occupational exposure in an MR environment.

6. Safely work in magnetic field strengths of 1.0 Tesla and higher.

Smell Smelling ability sufficient to detect significant environmental and patient odors. 1. Detect odors from patient (foul smelling drainage, alcohol on breath).

2. Detect burning and/or smoke.

Technological Adaptability and skills to utilize current electronic, digital, and medical technologies. 1. Utilize keyboard or touchscreens for selection and inputting of clinical data into consoles, computers, and charts.

2. Adapting to different technologies within the medical field, especially medical imaging.

Other Adapting to MRI Program course and clinical schedules, including any unforeseen changes. 1. Ability to work various/long hours.

2. Ability to tolerate physically taxing workloads.

3. Adapt to changing environments (flexible schedules, changes in break and lunch times, working on different types of MRI equipment at different clinical sites).

This document is intended to serve as a guide regarding the physical, emotional, intellectual and psychosocial expectations placed on a student. This document cannot include every conceivable action, task, ability or behavior that may be expected of a student. Meeting these technical standards does not guarantee employment in this field upon graduation. Ability to meet the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for any licensure, certification exam, or successful completion of the degree program.