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Kris Ockwell

“The newer MRIs give us the flexibility to achieve the best possible picture"

“The newer MRIs give us the flexibility to achieve the best possible picture"

Kris Ockwell

As MRI supervisor at Cabrini Brighton, one of the things that Kris Ockwell sees most is fear, because in addition to being frightened at what an MRI scan may find, the machines themselves get a bad rap.

“A lot of people who come for MRIs have heard stories from friends that paint quite a dark picture of MRIs, saying they’re coffin-like or it’s a dark and scary tunnel and a lot of people come with some trepidation or a bit of anxiety around the test,” Ockwell explains.

But the new MRI machine bought by our donors for Cabrini Brighton means that patients may even be in for a pleasant surprise when they visit for their procedure.

“Having the newest machine allows us to allay a lot of those fears because they’re not that bad anymore,” says Ockwell.

“They’re more open and bright and that helps to ease a lot of the pressure when a patient comes in because they think there’s something wrong or they’re in pain.”

The newer machines also have far more flexibility around how a patient is scanned and could even mean some patients no longer need to be sedated.

“If there are issues around patient movement, if the patient isn’t cooperative or if they’re a child or are in pain, we have a lot more scope to adjust what we do to get the best picture possible for those patients.

“The newer scanners give us that flexibility to achieve the best possible picture, in either the shortest amount or time or if you are looking for really high resolution pictures, they also allow us to do that. Which has been great.”

The new machine even comes with a laser light scene, like a rooftop scene or a forest, and you can choose from different landscapes.

“It’s just another way of integrating the outside world into the MRI environment to try to brighten it and open up the room so you’re not feeling so enclosed,” Ockwell says.

For in-patients at Cabrini Brighton it means they no longer have to be transported to another facility for tests, but it also has benefits for the wider Melbourne south-east, because for many MRI machines in Melbourne, there are long waiting lists.

“Referrers might now say to their patients ‘yes I’ll send you for an MRI because there is one just down the road’, rather than settling for another test that uses radiation or may just not be as informative as an MRI,” says Ockwell.


Thank you to all our supporters who donated to the 2016 MRI campaign.