Scan operator training

The DBIC trains research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and full-time research staff to operate the scanner without an MRI technician being present. Scan operator training is a two-part process. The first step involves becoming an operator-in-training, and the second step is to become a certified scan operator.

To become an operator-in-training, you will need to coordinate a training appointment with During this training session, users will learn how to administer and follow all MRI safety scanning procedures, as well as be introduced to the following:

  • MRI metal safety screening
  • Use and operation of the metal detectors
  • Operation of the air-locked door to the MRI suite
  • Introduction to DBIC's emergency procedures
  • Positioning and placement of participants in the scanner bore
  • Proper use of hearing protection (ear plugs/ear buds)
  • Registration of participants into RedCap database
  • Selection and execution of a scan protocol
  • DBIC housekeeping policies
  • Powering the scanner on/off

Following completion of the in-person introduction to scan operating session, operators-in-training will need to complete 20 hours of hands-on training with a certified scan operator before being allowed independent access to the MRI suite.

To become a certified scan operator, reseachers will need to have one final session with Terry Sackett, during which they will need to demonstrate the following:

  • ability to administer and follow all MRI safety and scanning procedures, including how to thoroughly screen subjects for MRI safety;
  •  accurate use and operation of the metal detector;
  • proper operation of the air-locked door to the MRI suite
  • thorough knowledge of the DBIC's emergency procedures.

Additionally, those wishing to become certified scan operators must know and show competence in the following:

  • positioning and placing a subject in the scanner bore
  • proper deployment of hearing protection (e.g. ear plugs/ear buds)
  • independent use  and set up of stimulus presentation and response devices
  • accurate registration of research participants into the Redcap database
  • thorough and accurate entry of data into the scanner database
  • ability to select and execute a scan protocol, including how to verify completion of data transfer to the server post-scan
  • knowledge of how to power the MRI system on and off

Scan operators will be expected to know and follow all DBIC safety policies and procedures at all times, and are also responsible for following all DBIC housekeeping policies to maintain the health and safety of our participants and equipment.

For more information on becoming a certified scan operator, please contact

Trainings can be scheduled Monday-Friday, starting at 8:30am, ending by 4:00pm.