Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving your healthcare needs since 1890.

Child Life Program – Preparing for your MRI


Hi There!
So you are having a MRI today. A MRI is a test that takes pictures of the inside of your body. It does not hurt but you have to stay very still for a long time so the pictures don’t come out blurry. It is very loud when it is taking pictures but the tech can give you ear phones to listen to music. Sometimes the nurse and doctor will give you some medicine to help you take a nap during the test so you don’t have to worry about staying still.

We understand that you may be a little scared and not sure what is going to happen, but your doctor, nurses, and child life specialist are here to answer all of your questions. Maybe you will even have a little bit of fun! Please let us know if you have any questions at all ☺

Sincerely,
Your doctor, nurse, and child life specialist



The Morning of Your MRI

You will not be able to have breakfast the morning of your surgery.

You can brush your teeth in the morning, just be sure to spit the water out!

We think it is a good idea to have a special dinner the night before your surgery.



Don’t forget to bring your favorite
stuffed animal or blanket



When you walk into the hospital on the day of your (Surgery/ MRI), you will see a table like this one at the front door. Here, a person will check your temperature, give you a sticker with your name on it, and ask you and your grown-up some questions about how you’re both feeling today.


To check your temperature, the person at the table will hold a special thermometer near your head to see how warm your body is. You may hear a “beep”, but the thermometer won’t touch you. This is to make sure everyone coming to visit the hospital is safe and healthy.



At the Hospital

Once you park and check in with the secretary, you will get a special bracelet with your name and birthday on it. This will make sure everyone knows who you are.

Make sure to tell your nurse if you have a nickname that you would prefer to be called ☺

You will also change into some clothes that look like pajamas. Your clothes will stay with your grown ups.



Meeting the Nurse

The nurse needs to make sure you are healthy and ready for surgery. They do this by checking your Vitals.

The nurse will check your temperature, check your blood pressure (which feels like a hug on your arm), and your weight and pulse.



Meeting the Anesthesiologist
(also known as the sleepy doctor)

The doctor will come to talk to you and your grown ups. Make sure you ask any questions you may have. They will also listen to you with a stethoscope and look in your mouth with a flashlight.

Some kids get the sleepy medicine through an IV (a tiny straw in your vein) and some get it through a mask. If you get an IV, the doctor will connect the medicine right to your tiny straw.

If you have a mask you will just take nice deep breaths. Before you know it, you will be waking up and the MRI will be all done! Even if you got the sleepy medicine through a mask, you will still wake up with an IV. It will be taken out before you go home.



Getting an IV

An IV is a tiny straw that helps get the sleepy medicine into your body, so you can take a nap during the MRI. The nurse will put an elastic band called a tourniquet around your arm. It will feel like a big hug, but it won’t stay on for long. Your job is to hold very still like a statue. Some kids say the poke feels like a pinch, but other say they don’t feel it at all. You can watch or do something else like play ISPY, blow bubbles or squeeze mom or dad’s hand. The nurse will put tape on your IV so that it will not come out. When it is done, you can play or just relax.


The nurse may also put stickers on your chest to help the nurse and doctor watch your heart rate during your MRI. They are hooked up to something that looks like a TV called a heart monitor. The nurse will take them off before you go home.


Going to the MRI

You can choose to go to the MRI in a wheel chair or on a bed with wheels. Your grown up will be with you until you fall asleep.



Waking Up ☺

Your grown up will be there when you are waking up.

You can go home after the nurse sees you drink!



Going Home

Your nurse will tell you when it is time to go home. While you are waiting, you can eat, watch a movie or color.

If you would like additional support with preparing your child for an MRI or feel it would be helpful to have a child life specialist present on the day of the MRI, please contact Child Life Services.

To contact Child Life at Elliot Hospital
please call the office at:
(603) 663-3416
or e-mail us at:
lcremmen@elliot-hs.org
Monday-Friday 8am-7pm