Get My Job: Spotlight on MRI Technologist
In this Nexus series, Get My Job, we interview alumni and faculty from one of the University’s 160-plus undergraduate and graduate professional programs. The latest installment features alumna Mallory Mueller. She works as an MRI technologist, performing imaging on young patients with a variety of diseases and conditions.
What did you major in at Jefferson, and how did this program best prepare you to enter the field?
I earned my BS in medical imaging and radiation sciences in 2013, concentrating in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiography. I didn’t have any experience working in a hospital environment before attending the University, so I feel this program provided me the curriculum I needed to be proficient in my job and the clinical opportunities necessary to be a successful, confident healthcare provider.
What was your career path to land in your current position?
After high school, I obtained the required prerequisites to enter Jefferson’s radiology program through a local community college. With Jefferson’s quality professional education and training, I’ve had many great career opportunities and now work as an MRI technologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
I love feeling as though I’m making a positive difference in the lives of these amazing children and their families. It’s so rewarding.
Please describe your core job responsibilities today?
MRI technologists use a powerful magnet and radiofrequencies to generate images of a patient’s body structures for interpretation by a radiologist. We work directly with patients, educating them on what to expect and providing them with a comfortable and safe environment for their MR procedure. Some patients require sedation or anesthesia to complete an MRI, and others work with our certified child life specialists who support their management of claustrophobia, anxiety or any emotional distress they may experience.
Additional job responsibilities include demonstrating MR safe practices, such as confirming pregnancy status and safety conditions of implants, verifying the patient’s identity and clinical history, performing MRI and utilizing MR equipment, producing images and evaluating them for technical quality, positioning and immobilizing patients as necessary, administering MR contrast agents as necessary, and consulting with the radiologist directly through our picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and Epic systems.
We’re a crucial part of a patient’s care, and Jefferson will prepare you to become a top technologist.
What are the favorite parts of your job?
The kids! I love feeling as though I’m making a positive difference in the lives of these amazing children and their families. It’s so rewarding.
CHOP offers many specialty imaging options, from basic MRI, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and magnetic resonance venography (MRV) to more advanced positron emission tomography (PET)-MRI and fetal and cardiac imaging. This keeps things interesting and our jobs challenging. CHOP has endless opportunities for growth, and we’re constantly making advances in our imaging abilities. We have leading imaging equipment and work alongside some of the nation’s best doctors and staff. It’s a great place to be.
Medical imaging plays a huge role in health and disease management by giving physicians more options and tools for detection and treatment.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
In any healthcare setting, you create relationships with your patients. It can be difficult to watch the many obstacles some patients must overcome, but when they do, it always feels so good knowing you contributed in a positive way.
What’s one piece of advice for students considering entering this major or profession?
Study hard and learn from every experience. We’re a crucial part of a patient’s care, and Jefferson will prepare you to become a top technologist. Medical imaging plays a huge role in health and disease management by giving physicians more options and tools for detection and treatment. It’s not an easy task, but Jefferson students excel. You should feel extremely fortunate and proud to be a Jefferson student.