For so many patients, MRIs are a nightmare. But they’re also a necessary diagnostic tool for determining certain medical conditions. If your patient feels anxious or expresses how they feel claustrophobic inside the machine, it’s your job to make the experience a little less stressful. Here are seven tips you can use today to calm a patient during their MRI.
Explain the Process
Knowledge is power. Sometimes simply understanding the process and knowing the steps can help a patient stay calm during their MRI. Take time at the beginning of the appointment to explain what they should expect during each part of the process.
Music helps our minds stay calm, focused, and grounded. Today, with streaming music so common, consider offering to let them pick out something they love that is soothing. Listening will help keep their mind off the MRI machine itself.
For some patients, mindful meditation techniques can help. You can assist with this as you’re running the test. Lead them through some mindful meditation techniques by encouraging them to focus their energy on their breathing or a specific part of their body to help keep them still.
Talk with Them
Sometimes just having a friendly voice will be all someone needs to make it through without too much stress. You can talk to them about anything. Just keep up a casual conversation. Or inform them about what’s happening next along the way.
For some patients, none of these ideas will be enough to keep them calm during the MRI. If their anxiety or claustrophobia is going to interfere with the process, consider giving them a light sedative. This can just keep them calm enough to make it through.
Provide a Sleep Mask
Here’s an extra tip that many people may not even think about. For some people, the combination of light, sound, and motion is what makes them anxious. Try sensory deprivation. Use a sleep mask so they can’t see what’s happening. If they are also upset by the sounds, combine it with music or noise-canceling headphones.
Are You Looking for Your Next Career Move as an MRI Tech?
If you are looking to take the next step in your career at an MRI tech, contact our recruiters at CornerStone Medical, or apply to one of our great opportunities online.