Investigating the experiences of New Zealand MRI technologists: Exploring intra-orbital metallic foreign body safety practices

Authors: Philippa K. Jacobs MHSc (Hons), PGDip (MRI), Suzanne Henwood MSc, HDCR, PGCE


Qualitative research is lacking regarding the experiences of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists and their involvement in workplace safety practices. This article provides a gateway to explore, describe and document experiences of MRI technologists in New Zealand (NZ) pertaining to intra-orbital metallic foreign body (IMFB) safety practices.


This phenomenological study describes the experiences of seven MRI technologists all with a minimum of 5 years' NZ work experience in MRI. The MRI technologists were interviewed face-to-face regarding their professional IMFB workplace experiences in order to explore historical, current and potential issues.

Findings demonstrated that aspects of organization and administration are fundamentally important to MRI technologists. Varying levels of education and knowledge, as well as experience and skills gained, have significantly impacted on MRI technologists’ level of confidence and control in IMFB practices. Participants’ descriptions of their experiences in practice regarding decision-making capabilities further highlight the complexity of these themes. A model was developed to demonstrate the interrelated nature of the themes and the complexity of the situation in totality.

Findings of this study have provided insight into the experiences of MRI technologists pertaining to IMFB safety practices and highlighted inconsistencies. It is hoped that these findings will contribute to and improve the level of understanding of MRI technologists and the practices and protocols involved in IMFB safety screening. The scarcity of available literature regarding IMFB safety practices highlights that more research is required to investigate additional aspects that could improve MRI technologists’ experiences.