Cupids Health

Having an MRI scan at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

What’s it like having an MRI scan?

This film was recorded at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, but it’s relevant to anyone about to have an MRI scan.

A patient and radiographer explain what to expect when you go into hospital for an MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

This short film covers:

• Getting a call from the bookings team
• Receiving your appointment letter
• Travelling to hospital
• Finding your way around
• Giving your details to reception
• Meeting the radiographer
• Completing the safety form
• Preparing for the scan
• Getting inside the scanner
• Experiencing a scan
• What to do after your scan
• When to expect your results

For more information about MRI scans visit:

The Oxford Academic Health Science Network brings together the NHS, universities, business, patients and the public to promote best health for our population and prosperity for our region. Breaking down traditional organisational boundaries and building stronger relationships between industry, scientific and academic communities – coupled with better knowledge exchange – will bring lasting benefits as best practice is spread quickly and widely across the NHS.

Further information is available at

This film was produced by Oxford Medical Illustration, a non-profit making department of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. If you wish to find out more about their work visit –


17 thoughts on “Having an MRI scan at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  1. Hi I do not like MRI scans as its too closed in for me however I am and always will be very grateful to a scan I had in April this year which confirmed a spinal tumour which I had no idea was there. I have also found a good coping strategy where I just simply close my eyes till the scan is over and this works great for me. xx

  2. Had mine yesterday at my local NHS for a neck scan. Wish I'd seen this beforehand, I would've asked for a cushion under my legs. Found it hard to breath sitting still so flat for 20 minutes. Glad it's all over.

  3. I had a third brain scan today. The staff were brilliant. This scan seemed longer than the two before and, I felt, it was noisier. The lady who made me comfortable put a support cushion under my legs and also some pads for my ears as well as ear plugs. She gave me an alarm to squeeze if i needed any help during the scan. It took about 30 minutes. I needed a dye injection halfway through and after that the time passed by quickly. Overall, it is not a pleasant experience because of the noise and physically you feel as if you have been on a long train journey, but it is over quite quickly.

  4. I been a MRI tech for 4 years! If you have high anxiety I have a few tips for you! Bring a friend or family member to come in room with you! Ask if they have music for you to listen while getting scanned, cover your eyes with a wash cloth or ask your doctor for a sedative before you schedule the test. Also ask the tech to give you a count down during the scan. Ask them to talk to you every 3 minutes. This really helps.Remember breathe normal. Pretend you are going to sleep or think about a fun time and just focus on that. Avoid caffeine. The tech will always give you a emergency call button if you have to come out. Ask if you can take a look at the machine before the scan. If this fails , look for a open mri in your area.

  5. Music.. I have had many MRI scans at different hospitals in London and have never been offered music, just headphones to cancel out sound.

  6. I had to wear only scrubs. I was fine until she put the face mask on me. I was anxious after the mask was locked on. I talked myself through. The music helped considerably.

  7. When I had the appointment for the scan I wasn't scared at all but everything changed when I got inside the machine. I didn't expect it was such a narrow space. I thought it was spacious enough but it's not so I got shocked and my heart beat increased. I felt I could get choked for breath but it wasn't so as the AC was on in the machine.

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