Starting in August, Sidney Health Center is expanding its magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services. A permanent housing unit was recently installed on a new cement pad located on the east side of the hospital, conveniently behind the ER/Radiology Wing.
Sidney Health Center leases a 1.5 Siemens Symphony MRI through Montana Health Network that is housed in the stationary unit and will be on-site year-round. Previously, the MRI truck made a weekly visit and scheduled tests on Wednesdays.
“We are extremely excited to be offering this on-site service; allowing us to better serve our customers in a timely fashion as well as keeping our patients here at our facility. By providing this continued service I feel we are supporting Sidney Health Center’s mission which is to help those we serve achieve their highest level of health and well-being,” stated Linda Labatte, Radiology Manager.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed pictures of organs and parts inside the body. In many cases MRI is used to obtain further information from a previous X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan. MRI sometimes detects a problem that does not show up with other imaging methods.
Medical providers use MRI testing for many reasons. MRI is particularly helpful for diagnosing problems with the eyes, ears, heart, and circulatory system, as well as problems in joints, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It is also helpful in identifying infections and inflammatory conditions or to rule out problems such as tumors. Most exams take 45-60 minutes each.
The MRI machine looks similar to a CT scanner; however, the tunnel is more enclosed. Patients must be able to lie still for the duration of the exam and tolerate close quarters.
Sidney Health Center is currently scheduling MRIs through the outpatient coordinator on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The radiology department has indicated that it will continue to adjust the scheduling to meet the demand as needed.