Making MRI scans appear fun

MRI ship

If you have ever had an MRI or CT scan then you will relate to some of the difficulties people face when they first see the machine. Test length depends on the particular test being done and the area of the body being scanned. Regardless of the time factor, the entire process can be anxiety-provoking. To combat this stress a New York hospital has turned this around by making MRI scans appear fun.

There are many health conditions that require x-rays, cat scans and MRI’s for diagnosing and for ongoing treatment progress. Such tests are not pleasant but nor are they unpleasant, it’s our thinking that makes this up. For children, being in a hospital setting is back enough but then having to endure tests without the benefit of parental support, well, this is very upsetting.

The Problem

Many people complain of feeling claustrophobic due to the small confined tube-like space. Once the table they are lying on is slid into the scanning area they are told not to move during the process and this too can be uncomfortable considering you may already be in discomfort. Some people are provided a medication to help calm them and take it just beforehand. Children have a really hard time with such tests.

The Solution

While enduring an MRI or CT scan can be overwhelming for adults it can be much harder for children, and providing kids medication beforehand is generally not an option. In order to avoid having to repeat scans and increased unnecessary exposure to radiation for children, the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital located in New York has come up with a very creative solution to help put kids’ minds at ease during scanning procedures. They are making MRI scans appear fun!

They have installed a CT scanner that is disguised to look like a pirate ship!


The CT scanner itself looks like a ship, while the walls complement the ambiance with brightly coloured friendly characters, such as a monkey pirate, tigers and a captain. This playful construction is a big hit with kids according to staff members who are happy with the results they have witnessed.

Now, if only they could come up with a concept that might help adults!

Got any ideas?

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