Yes. We see many patients with claustrophobia, as well as those who are anxious or concerned. Our radiographers and consultants are trained to help you feel at ease. MRIs, in particular, can appear daunting. Please bear in mind that:
- The scanner is open at both ends and is located in a spacious room – many of our patients mention how much this helps reduce the feeling of being enclosed.
- The radiographer is always in contact – the radiographer provides regular updates on how much time is left in each scan, and regularly checks in to see if everything is alright. All our radiographers have carried out thousands of scans, so they know exactly how to deal with patients with worries or fears.
- Call bell – you will be given a call bell to hold for the duration of the scan. If, at any point, you need to stop the scan, simply squeeze the handheld call bell and the radiographers will immediately check in to see what the problem is. You can be withdrawn from the scanner in seconds if need be.
- Sliding in and out of the scanner – many patients have a fear of enclosed spaces, and of being trapped. If you have this fear, we are very happy to slide you in and out of the scanner a few times to show you that you are always able to exit the scanner in a matter of seconds.
- Sedatives – you may wish to take a mild sedative before the scan. This does not put you to sleep, but rather relaxes you enough to control your nerves and put you at ease for the scan. If this is a route you wish to take, contact your referrer/GP to request a prescription for sedatives.
- Accompaniment – many people feel far more comfortable when a friend or relative accompanies them in the scanning room. The friend or relative will have to fill out a form to accompany you in the MRI room.
- Headphones – headphones or earplugs are always provided due to the noise of the machine. If you wish, you can listen to music of your choice through the headphones during the scan. You can also request an eye mask if you think it will help.
- Mirror – in many cases, a mirror can be provided so that you can see out of the scanner, which reduces the feeling of being enclosed.
- Pre-scan visit – if you wish to see the MRI scanner before your appointment, a pre-scan visit can be arranged, where you can ask questions and take a quick tour of the machine. patients often find that this helps with any nerves on the day of the appointment.
If you would like to talk through your concerns with a radiographer, don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 7042 1888
. One of our radiographers will be happy to talk to you and put your mind at ease.