Training and operator certification

Safety Training

Anyone entering either MRI facility past the 0.5mT (5 Gauss) line must be screened for metal objects, implants, etc (standard form).  There are no exceptions to this whatsoever.

Anyone who is assisting in an experiment (other than the participant or members of non-UCI groups for outside contracts) in either facility must have obtained a safety training certificate.  There are no exceptions to this whatsoever.

When running a UCI-based experiment, there must always be two people present in addition to any participants.  One must be certified to operate the scanner.  Both must be safety certified.

Safety training is a simple, but vital process.  Training begins by studying the safety training manual and by watching two MRI safety videos (video 1, video 2).  Before you take the exam, you will likely want to review the video and/or PowerPoint that Dr. Simona Nikolova made for a safety training session.  It’s from 2015, so there may have been a few changes since that video, but it has a wealth of information on how and why we have these procedures.  Once you feel comfortable with the material, schedule an exam with Pat Silver.

Safety Screening

Remember that every person going into the MRI must be screened each time. We have stacks of safety screening forms printed out at the scanners.  If you are unclear on the safety status of something, it is always good to check the summaries of potential MRI safety screening issues (from and/or the “safety list” (searchable list of known safety status for devices / procedures from to get up to speed on what the field knows about it.  In addition, consult Center staff with any questions or concerns prior to scanning the participant.

Operator Certification

The two human MRI facilities can be run by trained operators in individual labs.  The process typically begins by having an existing, certified operator in the lab or a related lab help the new person become familiarized with the procedures and policies during normal data collection.  By shadowing a certified operator, many of the skills can be picked up.  Once comfortable with the procedures, formal training and testing can begin.  Each facility (NIC and FIBRE) must be certified separately as the scanner interfaces differ.  FIBRE’s basic test checklist is available for you to consult prior to your evaluation.  Contact the Operations Director of the NIC (Dr. Keator) or of FIBRE (Dr. Stark) to schedule the evaluation.