Academic Associate of Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The advent of diagnostic medical imaging has given us an important tool when it comes to preventing, diagnosing, and treating medical conditions and diseases. It’s given us a way to look inside patients’ bodies and monitor their health without the need for invasive procedures like exploratory surgery. You can be a part of this fast-growing, in-demand career field with the Academic Associate of Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging from WCUI School of Imaging.

WHAT IS MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING?

Of the different types of medical imaging out there, one of the most dynamic and capable is magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. MRI machines use magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inner workings of your body. When an X-ray or ultrasound can’t provide a complete picture, doctors and physicians turn to MRIs in order to discover the root of a health issue. In particular, ultrasounds can’t look through bones or gas, so MRIs might be necessary to see through concealed areas of the body to what’s going on beneath. MRIs can be ordered for any part of the body, and teams of medical professionals then use those images and results to come to a diagnosis and a preferred method of treatment. It is a tool that can result in life-saving medical decisions.

WHAT DOES AN MRI TECHNOLOGIST DO?

An MRI technologist is trained to perform a number of different tasks and responsibilities, which might vary depending on the setting in which you’re working and the types of patients you interact with. It might include:

  • Discussing the procedure with the patient, including answering any of their questions or concerns
  • Preparing patients for the scanner, including injecting patients with contrast media and shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
  • Positioning patients on the equipment in order to precisely follow physician orders and get the correct image
  • Operating, cleaning, and maintaining computerized MRI equipment
  • Evaluating the images, determining whether more images are needed, and keeping detailed patient records of the results

HOW DO I BECOME AN MRI TECHNOLOGIST?

For those who are interested in a career as an MRI technologist, the first step is to enroll in a quality, hands-on education program that can provide the education you need. The MRI associate degree program at WCUI is an accredited program that can help prepare you for an entry-level career in this specialized medical field by teaching you how to use this dynamic technology to help diagnose and monitor diseases. We focus on the courses and technical skills that you need on the job, with additional preparation for registration and certification exams.

MRI technologists should also have:

  • Strong attention to detail — Producing accurate and helpful magnetic resonance images requires following very precise instructions and producing careful work.
  • Good people skills — MRIs are often ordered for patients who are stressed or experiencing pain, and a technologist must be able to work with them with compassion and care.
  • Good math skills — MRI technologists may be asked to calculate the amount of magnetic resonance emitted in order to produce a quality image.
  • Strong technical skills — Magnetic resonance imaging equipment is often complex, so technologists must feel comfortable working and maintain these machines.

See our Pathways to Registry for Academic Associate of Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging to see the registry exams* you’re eligible to take and which exam fees are included in the program cost.

  • American Registry Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT)

* These registries are independent organizations and the prerequisites for eligibility can change at any time without WCUI’s knowledge or consent. This document is meant to be a guide only and all students should review the registry’s website for the most up-to-date information.

WHAT CERTIFICATIONS DO MRI TECHNOLOGISTS NEED?

While the certification requirements for MRI technologists vary from state to state, most employers are looking for candidates who have passed their certification exams, even if it isn’t a state requirement. WCUI helps you in getting ready for the exams you need by offering registry reviews and providing a dedicated registry manager. See our Pathways to Registry to see which exam fees are included in the WCUI program cost.

  • Certified MRI Technologist through the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology (ARMRIT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist through the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology (ARMRIT)
  • Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) through the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA)
  • Certified Radiological Technologist through the American Chiropractic Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ACRRT)
  • Registered Technologist – Radiography (RTR) through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • Registered Technologist – Computed Tomography (RTCT) through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • Registered Technologist – Mammography (RTM) through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist (CNMT) through the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB)

WHAT WILL I LEARN IN A MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING PROGRAM?

At WCUI, our associate degree in MRI uses a combination of teaching methods and techniques, including online classes, in-person lectures, hands-on education in lab settings, and externship experience. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging program includes coursework on:

  • How to operate MRI scanners
  • How to perform MRI pulse sequences to optimize image contrast
  • Identify pathologies seen on MRI scans
  • Demonstrate entry-level clinical knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the care of patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging procedures
  • A commitment to ethics and professionalism
  • MRI cross-sectional anatomy

Our mission and values at WCUI are about promoting the academic excellence and integrity of our graduates in a way that is supportive and contributes positively to our students’ lives. We are here for you, to get you the healthcare education you need for success.

WHAT CLASSES WILL I TAKE FOR MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING?

Our MRI associate degree program features both lecture-based courses and lab work in:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • MRI Cross-Sectional Anatomy
  • MRI Fundamentals of Medical Imaging
  • MRI Physics, Safety, Bio-Effects
  • MRI Pathophysiology

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MRI Equipment

WHAT’S THE CAREER OUTLOOK FOR MRI TECHNOLOGISTS?

The population of the U.S. is aging and significantly increasing the rates of things like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, which is increasing the demand for diagnostic and preventative medical services, like MRIs. Preventative and diagnostic services like MRIs will see the demand go up significantly, adding thousands of jobs to the field through 2030.

  • In California, the projected growth in employment for MRI technologists is 22%*
  • In Arizona, the projected growth in employment for MRI technologists is 39%**

*State of California EDD https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/data/employment-projections.html “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028).

**Arizona Commerce Authority https://www.azcommerce.com/oeo/labor-market/employment-projections/ “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030)

WHERE DO MRI TECHNOLOGISTS WORK?

A little over half of the 42,000 MRI technologists employed across the U.S. in May of 2020 were at state, local, and private hospitals, including academic and research hospitals and specialty hospitals.

The rest of the techs were employed at the wide variety of other medical facilities that are in need of trained MRI operators, including:

  • Medical and diagnostic labs
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Urgent care centers
  • And more

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING?

WCUI’s Academic Associate of Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging program can be completed in as few as 18-21* months, and students become eligible for relevant ARRT and ARMRIT registry exams upon graduation.

*An optional 18-month program is only available at our California campuses.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT WCUI’S MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING DEGREE?

In response to COVID-19, WCUI has moved to a hybrid educational model so your education doesn’t miss a beat. Our program combines online lecture classes with in-person ultrasound labs and 6-months of externship at a hospital or clinical site.  

WCUI was founded by well-respected medical professionals, and we’ve been using our experience and knowledge to help our students begin successful careers for over 20 years. We’ve been accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College as a private post-secondary vocational school since 2001.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Are you ready to advance your career by advancing your education? Find the information you need to apply to the WCUI School of Medical Imaging on our Admissions Page or contact our admissions team today.

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