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    Anytime you hear you have to get a medical exam, imaging, or procedure it can be a source of anxiety. What do you need to do now? What should you expect? What happens next? Our ‘Now What?’ blog series walks you through these procedures so you’re prepared, not worried.


    MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging- which is when radio waves and a strong magnetic field are used to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and soft tissues. These images allow providers to see even the smallest tears and injuries to ligaments and muscles; areas such as knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists are common recipients of MRIs. 


    Andi Gallagher, MRI Technologist at Pullman Regional Hospital, is passionate about creating a comfortable patient experience from start to finish. She wants patients to seek the imaging they need without anxiety or fear. With 22 years of experience under her belt, she’s helped thousands of patients through the MRI process at Pullman Regional Hospital. 


    If you’re in need of an MRI, your first step is to get a referral from your primary care provider or specialist. Rest assured, you’re in excellent hands at Pullman Regional Hospital. The MRI machine underwent a substantial software and hardware upgrade this past August- making it the most capable machine on the west coast, aside from Stanford University! This upgrade ensures the highest quality imaging and improved detail, with shorter scan times. Pullman Regional Hospital has 5 MRI technologists that are experienced and dedicated to providing quality and compassionate care.


    When you come to get your scan, it’s extremely important that you remove all metal from your body- including piercings and jewelry. Wear something comfortable, but without metal zippers, accents, or snaps. Please be aware you may be asked to change into scrub shorts or a gown depending on the area being analyzed.  If you have a medical device implant, bringing your implant card can assist the technologists in delivering your scan, while accommodating your device.


    You may have heard that getting an MRI is quite loud. At Pullman Regional Hospital, we provide headphones and allow patients to select their favorite music or podcast to listen to during the scan. Gallagher jokes that “sometimes the thing that takes the longest during an appointment is selecting the music”. Whether you’re rocking out to some AC/DC, belting out some Katy Perry, rapping some Drake, or catching up on your favorite mystery podcast, you can rest assured you’re receiving the best possible MRI experience available. 


    After your MRI, your images will be reviewed by one of 92 board-certified radiologists that Pullman Regional Hospital works with. Images will be read and results reported back to your primary care doctor or specialist within 24 hours, sometimes even the same day! An important distinction between Pullman Regional Hospital and other clinics is that we only use board certified radiologists to interpret images- each working under their certified specialty. These radiologists are also American College of Radiology certified in their respective modality, making them experienced, capable, and knowledgeable about your area and injury.


    Gallagher wants patients to know that patient experience is the most important focus during MRIs. “We’ve done it all- whatever a patient needs to feel comfortable and safe. From wash cloths over their eyes to listening to their favorite podcast, holding their hand during the scan to walking patients out to their car after their appointment- we’re here for our patients,” says Gallagher. 


    Ask your doctor today about making a referral to Pullman Regional Hospital’s Imaging department for your MRI. To schedule an appointment, call (509) 336-7446. 


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