Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical technique used to visualize internal structures of the body for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It’s a painless and non-invasive procedure, but for some patients with anxiety, the prospect of being confined in the closed space of the MRI machine can be daunting. As a healthcare practitioner, it’s important to provide a comfortable and reassuring experience for your patients to reduce their stress levels and get the best-quality images. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips to help put patients at ease during MRI.
1. Educate Patients About the Procedure
Before the MRI, explain to your patients what the procedure involves, why it’s important, and what they can expect during the scan. Provide them with information about the duration of the test, what they will experience while inside the machine, and any discomforts that may occur. This gives patients a sense of control over the situation and reduces fear of the unknown.
2. Provide Comfortable Accessories
Patients can bring their own music or audiobooks to listen to during the procedure, but you can also offer headphones with relaxing music or white noise to help them tune out the noise of the MRI machine. You can also provide blankets or pillows to make patients feel comfortable. These small gestures go a long way in making patients feel cared for and calm.
3. Offer Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a great way to create a relaxing environment for patients. You can use diffusers or essential oil sprays to diffuse calming scents like lavender or chamomile in the room. These scents have been shown to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
4. Communicate Clearly
Clear communication is vital when it comes to putting patients at ease. Speak calmly and slowly, and explain steps and sequences in simple language. Answer any questions they might have and let them know they can ask for a break if needed. Patients are more likely to relax when they feel they’re being taken care of and listened to.
5. Use Open MRI Machines
Traditional MRI machines can make some patients feel claustrophobic, but newer open MRI machines have been designed to reduce this feeling. Open MRI machines have a larger opening that makes the procedure less confining and more comfortable. If possible, use open MRI machines for patients who experience anxiety.
MRI can be a stressful experience for some patients, but practical support measures can make a world of difference. As healthcare practitioners, educating and comforting patients is our top priority. By following these tips and individualizing care, we can ensure patients are as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout the procedure, leading to better- quality outcomes in the long run.