Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type


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School of Nursing and Health Professions


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in pediatric patients living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is often complicated by challenges. The child perceives the MRI environment as abnormal and uncertain of the implications of the procedure. The child may exhibit distress becoming anxious and frightened, reluctant to enter the scanner, and unable to remain still throughout the duration of the procedure. The issue lies within the child’s mental and behavioral challenges to understand and follow the task demands to ensure safety and accurate acquisition of image artifacts. After reviewing literature, observing MRI protocol for pediatric patients, and conducting multiple nursing staff surveys to evaluate care catered towards ASD patients, several evidence-based interventions were implemented: Social Story video depicting day of MRI, a Parent MRI Toolkit, a Children Picture and Activity Book, Staff Pre-assessment and Clinical In-service, and a Parent Perioperative Questionnaire. Following the implementation of the interventions, in-service and educational sessions were conducted to the nursing staff. The session provided pre and post in-service surveys to gauge the results. The data from the surveys showed the clinical staff’s strong interest and support regarding the benefits of de-escalating tactics towards behavioral challenges among pediatrics. The results showed the majority believing they feel adequately prepared to support children with behavioral issues, ADHD, developmental delay, or ASD. Overall, implementation of evidence-based practice changes indicated a success with this quality improvement project. The nursing staff revealed their desire to utilize the different interventions to optimize the patient’s experience in MRI setting at the pediatric outpatient surgery center.