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MRI Services at St. Joseph's


St. Joseph's is dedicated to providing its patients with advanced technology and quality readings by radiologists. The MRI department houses a 3 Tesla Interoperative MRI scanner, two 3 Tesla diagnostic scanners, four 1.5 Tesla diagnostic scanners and one 3 Tesla scanner dedicated to pulse sequence development and research. St. Joseph's Radiology Department ensures safe environment for patients and employees while providing excellent patient care. Each patient's needs are met with the use of new techniques for diagnosis and treatment, and new processes for improving patient care, while optimizing resources to support the community and hospital.

What Is An MRI?

MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a state-of-the-art technique that allows doctors to see inside the human body in remarkable detail without using x-rays. MRI images are produced with the use of a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a sophisticated computer system. Most single exams take from 45-60 minutes, multiple exams ordered will take longer.

Is An MRI Safe?

The MRI exam is painless and generally safe. Patients will be asked to complete an MRI patient screening form to assure safety before entering the strong magnetic field. The form addresses implantable devices, patient condition, pain, claustrophobia and current medications. The MRI department also performs patient registration and pre-screening to avoid delays in patient care and to provide the best service possible. Nursing care is provided to both inpatients and outpatients to support patient care needs.

What is the difference between an MRI and a CT scan?

Both MRI and CT scans make cross-sectional images (slices) of most any area of the body using a sophisticated computer system. The major difference is that an MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce images while the CT uses X-rays. MRI is superior when it comes to soft tissue contrast, and there are no known side effects. The ability to view pictures from multiple directions, high tissue contrast, and lack of x-rays make MRI a very powerful and increasingly popular imaging tool. Please note, MRI is very sensitive to motion during the acquisition of pictures and, in some instances, CT is preferable if the patient is unable to hold still.

What Happens During The MRI Scan?

The technologist and/or the MRI nurse will help you onto a padded examination table where you will be comfortably situated. If your Physician has ordered medication to help you complete your MRI, then monitors ( blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, etc) may be placed on you so that our MRI nurse can better manage your care. While the machine is taking pictures, you will hear knocking noises made by the scanner which is normal and is no cause for alarm. We will provide you with earplugs to make you comfortable while the scan is making noise. The most important thing to remember is that you must remain very still during the study as motion causes the images to blur. Throughout the test, you will be able to speak to the technologist when the noise stops. Please communicate your needs, should you have any, to the Technologist at these times. Most single exams take from 45-60 minutes, however we will spend the time needed to obtain a diagnostic exam while keeping you comfortable.

Learn More About MRI Scans At St. Joseph's

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 602.406.6700.

Our fax number is 602.406.5188.