Can a nurse obtain informed consent for a CT /MRI scan?


I overheard a physician saying how they are short staffed and wanted a nurse to obtain informed consent for CT/ MRI scans.... is this legal? From what I know it isnt.... this is in New York if it matters


296 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I have not heard of needing a signed consent for a CT or MRI scan. The nurse should be able to explain to the patient what is going to be done with the will lay on a table, move into the tube, etc.


120 Posts

i should have added that this is WITH IV contrast...hence an invasive procedure.... sorry totally forgot to mention it.

Specializes in Cardiac.

In my hosptial, no need for a consent for CTs, but we do need them for MRI, and it is the RN's who obtain it. I also do consents for blood, central lines, etc.

dianah, ASN

9 Articles; 3,630 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 48 years experience.

Check your hospital or facility's policy on consents.

Check your state's policy.

In California, the MD is to obtain the informed consent.

We RNs used to explain the whole procedure (angio, biopsy, nephrostomy tube placement, etc).

Then the Radiologist came over to ask if the pt had any questions before handing the pt the consent to sign.

We may witness the signing of the consent but not obtain the informed consent.

Is a CT or MRI w/contrast considered an invasive procedure????

Or is the pt giving consent to receive the contrast agent only?

Muddy area.

I'd be interested to know what you find out. :)

Good luck! :)

DutchgirlRN, ASN, RN

1 Article; 3,932 Posts

Specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN. Has 33 years experience.

In TN we don't have to have a consent for an CT or MRI.

If the patient gets IV contrast for a CT then I obtain that consent just prior to starting the IV.

Not the nurse on the floor but as a Medical Imaging RN.


2,438 Posts

We do not obtain consent for CT/MRI w/ or w/o


18 Posts

In our clinic in MN, we (the RN's) explain the risks of contrast and obtain a consent for the CTA's. We have been told by our physician what percent of risks to tell the pt's. Our adenosine MRI's have a consent, but I don't think our regular MRI's do even though they receive gadolinium. We are looking at starting them sign a consent in the near future.

DutchgirlRN, ASN, RN

1 Article; 3,932 Posts

Specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN. Has 33 years experience.

both ct's and mri's with contrast sign a consent form which states that they acknowledge that they are going to receive iv contrast and that the possible risks and side effects have been explained to them.

it is a statement on the bottom of the ct or mri assessment sheet on which we note allergies, medical conditions such as diabetes, whether or not they are on glucophage, for mr's items such as do you have a pacemaker, etc...most people sign it w/o reading it. but i tell them what they are signing their consent for.

mike RT

5 Posts

most radiology departments should have screening forms for both MR and CT. with CT you should be concerened with BUN/CREAT, prior allergic reactions to contrast, multiple myeloma, diabetes treated with any med containing METFORMIN, asthma, some screen for sickle cell. MRI is an entirely different subject - the magnetic field can reak havoc with many implanted divices- pace makers, defibulators, neurostimulators and aneurysm clips not to mention the occasional forign body, BUN/CREAT and GFR are concerns then Gadolinium is used (google: nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy) Imaging is not an invasive prodedure, aside from interventional radiology - consent for the injection should be part of the screening forms used by the imaging department - for further information on contrast safety visit the ACR (American College of Radiology) web site


120 Posts

Mike RT why is Multiple Myeloma a contraindication for contrast.... any literature? Thanks in advance.

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