Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Preparing for a MRI

So have you ever had a medical procedure done for the first time? Maybe you've prepped for surgery 15,000 times but never had it yourself? Well, this happened to me for the first time this summer. First with an Endoscopy and second with an MRI. 

I hate needles. I can prepare a kiddo for a stick all day long, but personally I still struggle. My coping plan consists of looking away, pumping my other fist, and taking deep breaths. Sometimes I feel silly- but it works. 
Image result for mri

As I laid in the MRI machine, I thought to myself, "If I were a child, what would I be thinking right now?" 

1. There is a lot of sensory things going on. 

2. I am bored. 

3. These noises are really loud. 

4. Is it over yet? 

All of these thoughts and many more ran in and out of my mind for the 30 long minutes I laid there.

So here are some steps for a basic MRI prep:

1. Prep for an IV. Most of the time MRI's require contrast so kiddos may require an IV. 

2. Explain to kids what an MRI does (takes special pictures).

3. Show kids what the MRI looks and sounds like either using a doll sized MRI, a prep book, or app on the Ipad. 
Sydney recommends the simply saying app.

4. Talk about the time that an MRI takes. Compare it to something a child knows, if its 30 minutes the length of a TV show, if it's an hour the length of a movie etc.

5. Tell kids what their special jobs are during the MRI (not moving, still like a statue, special glue for arms, etc. )

6. Talk about questions, correct misconceptions, figure out a coping plan

7. Do a practice run, go in and see the MRI machine and practice laying still on a bed outside to see how the patient does.

6. Does your hospital utilize distraction for MRI(like movie goggles, or headphones), can a parent go in with the patient, can child life go in?

Some kids can do great during an MRI and others need sedation, don't feel discouraged if your prep and distraction didn't work, MRI's are tricky
Image result for mri toys

Caroline and Sydney