HealthWACH: Mastering the MRI

Mastering the MRI

COLUMBIA (WACH) - For many children and parents, going to the hospital can be an unsettling experience. The unfamiliar sights, sounds and people may reinforce a childâ??s anxiety and add to their parentsâ?? concern. At Wolfson Childrenâ??s Hospital, the Child Life, Pediatric Radiology, and Pediatric Anesthesiology departments have joined together to take the scary out of one aspect of a visit to the hospital.

Wolfson Childrenâ??s now offers the â??MRâ??I Am Ready!â?? program for children scheduled for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The program is designed to help children ages 6-11 complete their MRIs without the need for sedation.

The parent and child will come in one week prior to the actual MRI to meet with the child life specialist. The specialist will individually prepare the child for the MRI by showing pictures of everything he or she will see, explaining the sequence of events the child can expect when returning for the MRI, and teaching coping strategies.

Parents who are concerned that their child cannot have a successful MRI without sedation may be encouraged by the track record of the program. At Wolfson Childrenâ??s, nearly all patients who have completed the training have gone on to have successful sedation-free MRIs. â??MR â?? I Am Ready!â?? is a highly effective method of equipping children and parents to cope with what may seem like an intimidating experience