Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technician Careers and Degrees in West Virginia
Are you ready for a career in which your skills can be used to help patients get through difficult procedures, make the most of doctors’ time, and improve the state of health care in West Virginia? Becoming an MRI technician may give you the skills and education you need to enjoy a career in health care.
You may be surprised at the many ways in which MRI technology can be used. In fact, this is a significant area of medical research, so your skills may become more and more relevant as this field develops. ExtremeTech reports on new technology that allows MRI scopes to track a single cell in the human body. A recent development in MRI technology, according to MedGadget, centers around dual-imaging contrast agents. This may improve the flexibility of MRI imaging and allow it to be used in more ways.
As an MRI student in West Virginia, you may be interested in joining the West Virginia Society of Radiologic Technologists. This society offers professional resources to MRI professionals, including continuing education opportunities, scholarships for MRI students, and an annual conference that can help your networking efforts.
MRI Education in West Virginia
To begin a career as an MRI technician, you’ll need quite a bit of specialized education! After all, working in this field requires you to be experienced with high-end technology, health care terms, and standards of patient care. Consider earning a diploma or certificate, both of which take about one year. If you’d prefer a more in-depth education with general education courses, you may be able to earn an Associate’s degree in two years.
The MRI-centered courses you take during an MRI program are similar between diploma, certificate, and Associate’s degree programs. Some of the anatomy-based courses you may have to take include Cross-sectional Anatomy for Medical Imaging, MR Imaging of the Head and Neck, and MR Imaging of the Spine & Musculoskeletal System. Other courses may focus on patient care, MRI safety, or techniques of MRI technology. These courses include MRI Patient Care, MRI Physics, Introduction to MRI, and MRI Clinical Practicum.
You may have guessed that MRI programs have a major focus on clinical experience. While you may start out by working with an MRI machine without real patients. However, as you gain experience and theoretical knowledge, you may be ready to start using your skills on real patients. Students often get sent to local hospitals, imaging centers, or specialty clinics for clinical hours.
MRI Careers in West Virginia
As is the case with many health care careers, MRI technology may give you the freedom to work in many different settings. Your skills may be used in hospitals, standalone imaging clinics, community clinics, and specialty clinics. A lot depends on where you complete your clinical hours and how well you do in school. In West Virginia, some of the largest employers are Acuity Healthcare Solutions, Gentiva Health Services, Diamond Healthcare Corporation, and Amedisys.
Salaries in West Virginia tend to be slightly lower than the national average. However, it’s important to note that the cost of living in this state is also below average! According to O*Net, West Virginia MRI technicians earn an average salary of $58,000 per year.
It’s important to meet the licensing requirements of the West Virginia Board of Medicine before you get your license. They require radiologist assistants to complete the MRI exam through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Once you’ve registered with the Board of Medicine, you have to complete 50 hours of education every two years.
MRI technology is a growing field that can give you lots of versatile skills. Contact local or online schools to get started!