MRT doing patient scan
Medical radiation technologist (MRT) Paul McCrossin, who is featured in the Exceptional Moment video series, oversees a patient scan, with hand readied at the intercom to keep the patient reassured throughout the procedure. (Photo: UHN)

It was 5 a.m. when the patient, anxious and overwhelmed, entered Toronto Western Hospital for pre-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and surgery.

"I was extremely nervous about the whole situation," he recalls in a letter to the two medical radiation technologists (MRTs) with him that morning. "Needless to say, I was feeling really, really bad, and panicking about what was to come."

But the patient says the two – Chitra Muthupalaniappan and May Skinner – were "fantastic," one holding his hand, the other talking him through the procedure.

"I've never experienced better treatment by technologists in my life. Thank you both, so, so much."

The patient's letter is one of five read by MRTs as part of a new video series entitle Exceptional Moments from the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI), to mark MRT Week, which runs Nov. 4 to 11.

"I clearly remember this patient," says Chitra, MRT with JDMI. "We had taken much longer than we normally do to scan this patient because he was extremely nervous."

May, a fellow JDMI MRT, adds, "I didn't realize I was making much of an impact, and I didn't realize something as little as holding someone's hand or talking to them constantly during the scan really meant that much."

The videos, released across UHN Monday, illustrate the various lengths medical imaging staff will go to ensure patients are calm and cared for during their diagnostic imaging procedures.

"Small gestures can obviously make a huge impact on someone, enough that they actually write in and say thank you," says Paul McCrossin, Nuclear Medicine MRT also featured in the series.

"People should know that no gesture is too small."

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