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New MRI service includes child-friendly features

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Children awaiting scans on MidCentral DHB’s new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine will have the opportunity to play with a small replica machine to familiarise themselves with the equipment and environment before being scanned.

It is hoped that having the smaller machine for play therapy beforehand will help younger patients who may find the experience intimidating or uncomfortable. There are also superhero toys and capes for children to play with while they wait for their turn in the scanner.
Manager of Medical Imaging Di Orange says play therapy is a way for our smallest patients to make sense of the world around them. “Play is familiar and reassuring. In the hospital setting it can help children to feel less anxious, understand what is happening and cope with treatment.”
Four-year-old Annaliese Adamson, who assisted the service by testing the toys, says she enjoyed having playing with them. “I got a cape and the scanner made lots of noise. It was fun.”
As well as offering this for younger patients, the new full size Siemens MAGNETOM Sola machine has a number of cutting-edge features, including a larger table limit that will allow for a broader range of patients to be imaged.
The eagerly-anticipated MRI service, based out of Palmerston North Hospital, is set to officially open from 1 July, and staff are excited to get the service up and running and producing top-quality images in house.
The new service will provide a greater level of support, flexibility and integration across MidCentral DHB services. Elective Services and the Emergency Department are just two of the areas that are expected to be positively impacted.
A blessing and opening ceremony will take place on 25 June. This will be attended by MidCentral Board members, DHB leadership, suppliers and staff members who have been involved in setting up the new service.
The machine was craned in to its new home at the hospital in April, and a highly effective rapid implementation project was undertaken to ready the space for go-live at the beginning of July.
Patients will be directed to the new MRI site, which is in the old Medical Records building.
Annelise Yates.jpg
Annaliese Adamson plays with the mini replica MRI
Charge MRI Medical Imaging Technologist Alicia Yates views a scan taken by the new machine

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