Certification for MR safety and MR operator
Independent access to the MR facilities is only granted if you have an MR safety or MR operator certification. The rights and duties of MR operator and MR safety certified persons are described below, including the procedure to become certified.
It is possible for the MR operator or MR Safety certified person to invite a non-certified person to attend the MRI experiment. This can be an interesting option if your role is limited to interaction with the subject before and after the actual scanning, and/or in case of short-lasting internships. Several restrictions apply:
- You must be accompanied by a MR operator or MR safety certified person. This means that:
- You are not allowed to be in the MR control room by yourself.
- You do not get access to the MR control room via your badge.
- You do not take part in the MRI experiment. This means that:
- you are not involved in the screening of subjects, colleagues etc.;
- you are not allowed to operate any part of the MRI scanner;
- you are not allowed to enter the MRI scanner room;
- you are not involved in the evacuation process.
- The number of people present without and with safety certification should be balanced i.e. roughly equal; this is left to the discretion of the MR operator.
MR safety certification
After successfully completing the safety training and examination (both written and practical), you are ready to help out during an MRI experiment. You get access to the control room via your badge. Being safety certified,
- You are aware of the risks associated with the MRI scanner and know where and when they are present
- You are allowed to
- be in the MR control room by yourself;
- do the primary MRI screening of subjects and others that are present during an experiment using the screening form, and subsequently take them into the MR control room.
- Unless you have explicit permission from the MR operator, you are
- not allowed to enter the scanner room;
- not allowed to operate the scanner (table and user interface);
- not allowed to press the quench button.
- In case of an evacuation, you are the one notifying emergency services (AMC and ERO personnel).
To become safety certified, you should
- Carefully study the MR safety reader.
- Carefully study the Annotated Screening Form
- Attend the MR safety presentation and tour of the building that are organized periodically.
- Pass the safety exam consisting of a theoretical (online multiple choice exam) and practical part (screening and informing a subject).
MR operator certification
After successfully completing both the safety and operator exam, you are ready to independently run an MRI experiment. You get access to the control room (via your badge) and access to the scanner room (via the code to the key locker). As MR operator
- You are responsible for the safety of your subjects as well as your colleagues, interns and all others that are present during the experiment. This means
- you perform a second screening by verbally checking all paper screening forms with subjects and colleagues etc.;
- you determine who is allowed to enter the scanner room, and perform the visual screening of all persons entering the room;
- you keep the number of people in the control room limited to what is needed to perform your experiment;
- you determine if a situation warrants quenching the magnet;
- in case of emergency you start the physical evacuation of a subject.
- You are responsible for the proper conduct of those that assist with your experiment.
- You are responsible for staying on time and leaving the scanner environment tidy for the next scanning session.
- You have mastered operation of the MRI scanner, including table operation, planning and running scans, and basic troubleshooting.
- You are in charge during the entire experiment. If multiple people with operator certification are present, one is appointed MR operator for that scanning session.
To become MR operator, you should
- Obtain your MR safety certificate (see below).
- Practice operating the scanner under the supervision of a qualified (certified) user, e.g. a colleague already running a project. Note that the number of required training sessions differs between people and is based, amongst others, on the previous skill level and experience with MRI scanners.
- Show you have mastered operation of the scanner by running a (pretend) session of your experiment overseen by someone from the SC staff.
- Carefully study the MR safety reader.
- Watch this short video on proper ear plug placement.
- Annotated Screening Form - Dutch
- Annotated Screening Form - English
- Chapter 2 from 'Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging' by Huettel et al.
- Docs on occupational exposure: English / Dutch
- ACR Guidance document 2013. Not all sections will apply to your situation. The text should be read as a general guideline, not as policy specific to the Spinoza Centre.
- An awful lot of information can be obtained from the ISMRM 2019 MR Safety Workshop Virtual issue of MRM: []
- Safety of Ultra-High Field MRI: What are the Specific Risks?
- Risks associated with helium
- FDA criteria