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Facets of Purchasing an MRI Sound System

By Joseph Caruso -

Deciding on a sound system for your MR department is a daunting task.  There are many options out there, each touting its product as the epitome of patient comfort.  The goal is to provide your patients with comfort, but without adding unnecessary complication to the technologist’s job.  To this end, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • First and foremost, does the system provide adequate noise reduction inside the bore?

 The magic number here is 29 decibels.

  • Is the system easy to use?

Ease of use will dictate how much the system is actually used.  The system may be hooked up and ready to go, but if the technologist forgot how to use it, or simply doesn’t want to go to the trouble because it’s too complicated, it becomes a very expensive paperweight.

  • How varied is the music selection?

Each patient will undoubtedly want highly differing genres of music.  Usually, systems include a radio and/or a CD player, but ideally, it will come with some form of internet radio.  This offers a distinct advantage, as the music selection will be tailored to fit each and every patient.

  • Does the system come with multiple headsets?

If your department performs a fair number of head and spine scans, then you’ll be requiring an in-ear style headset that fits in a head coil.  Again, this headset needs to reach the magic number for sound attenuation – 29 db.        

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