OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRI Machine After registering at Admitting, you will be taken to the MRI waiting area. After checking in with the receptionist, you will be given an armband.

After changing into a gown, a radiology technologist will take you into a big room where your MRI will be performed. For this procedure, you can bring a blanket or a toy without metal with you. In this room, you will see a long table and a machine that looks like a large donut.

During your test you may be able to listen to music through headphones, so you should bring a CD with your favorite music to listen to during the scan. Although you can listen to music, it is important that you hold really still during the scan so that your pictures turn out as good as possible. 

If your physician ordered a MRI that requires an IV, it will be started in the scanning area. An IV is like a straw that allows us to give you medicine during your exam. There will be a brief poke with a needle and then the straw-like tube will be taped to your arm. The poke might hurt, but it is very important that you hold very still.

Next, the radiology technologist will ask you to lie on the table and will give you headphones to block out the noisy MRI machine. The technologist will move your bed into the opening of the MRI machine and your job is to hold still and enjoy the music. An average test takes about 45 minutes.

Your MRI will be reviewed by a radiologist, a type of doctor who looks at X-rays. The radiologist will share what he sees with your primary doctor. Your doctor should have the results within 24 to 48 hours.

Special Note

NOTE: Many children cannot lie still long enough for a successful MRI scan. In these cases your physician might schedule your child’s exam with anesthesia.

An anesthesiologist is a physician that specializes in helping your child relax and sleep during a procedure with medications. A nurse will also be involved to help watch over your child during their exam.

Please ensure that you follow your physician’s prep orders if your child requires an MRI with anesthesia.

After the exam, your child may be drowsy for a while, but this will wear off in time.