OSF Holy Family Medical Center

Monmouth, Illinois


What is MRI?

MRI 101507-007.jpg The MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures.

You are placed on a moveable bed that is inserted into the magnet. The magnet circulates around your body and sends information to be compiled by a computer.

The MRI scan is an extremely accurate method of detecting disease such as: soft tissue injuries, bone and joint structure, aneurysms, stroke, changes in the aorta, tumors, and disease of the spine.

What to Expect

  • The radiology staff will go over health history questions with you ahead of time to ensure safety throughout the exam.
  • If you have a heart pacemaker you cannot have a MRI.
  • MRI-111009-009.JPG All metallic objects on the body are removed prior to obtaining an MRI scan. During the MRI scan, you lie on a bed in a closed area inside the magnetic tube.
  • Some patients can experience a claustrophobic sensation during the procedure. If you know you will be uncomfortable ahead of time, tell your doctor and a mild sedative may be prescribed to help alleviate this feeling.
  • Relaxation and holding still is important during the procedure and you will be asked to breathe normally.
  • Interaction with the MRI technologist is maintained throughout the test.
  • There are loud, repetitive clicking noises which occur during the test as the scanning proceeds. You will be asked to wear ear plugs for your protection.
  • Occasionally, patients require injections of IV Gadolinium to enhance the images which are obtained.  
  • The MRI exam averages between 30 to 60 minutes in length.


A radiologist, who is a physician experienced in interpreting MRI and other radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report of the interpretation to your health care provider. 

Your health care provider will then discuss the MRI results with you.

Appointment Information

If you and your health care provider feel that a MRI would provide important information for your continued care, the provider will order the test either through the electronic medical record or with a paper order. 

The Central Scheduling Department staff will call you to schedule your appointment. 

MRI exams are performed at OSF Holy Family Medical Center during daytime hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.