Are you Coming For a Scan At HIRF?

Thank you for volunteering for research! Imaging platforms such as those available at HIRF are very useful for determining what is going on in the body, and developing ways of earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and better outcomes for patients. We have a range of systems (MRI, CT and PET), and your visit may involve a scan on just one or a combination of systems.

Before the scan:

The coordinator in charge of the project you have volunteered for should have provided you with details of what they are researching, what scanner you will be scanned on, and any other additional information, like how early to arrive. Each project is different.

In general, you should plan to arrive at least 15 mins before an MRI or CT scan, and longer before a PET scan. The time will depend upon the tracer you are receiving so please check with your researcher.

Before any type of scan, the researcher will ask you to fill in a safety questionnaire. This is usually sent through when they book your scan time/date. The radiographers need to have time to double check that your scan is safe to continue.

What to bring with you:

The project may ask you to bring some details with you. You will be asked to change into hospital scrubs or gown and remove jewellery before your scan. Some makeup (particularly glittery eyeshadow) will need to be removed. Please wear minimal jewellery and makeup on the day. You can bring a friend or carer with you. With COVID-19, there may be restrictions on how many people can come with you. Just check in with either the researcher or contact us to find out what the latest is.

How to get to HIRF:

HIRF is on level 3 of the UQCCR building, on the RBWH campus. For information on how to get to HIRF check out our Location page. There are options for bus travel, drop off points if you are coming by taxi or uber, or parking. If you are mobility impaired but would like to come by car, please ask your researcher to arrange a HIRF carpark for you.

When you arrive:

When you arrive, there is a reception desk on level 3. Just let them know you are there for a scan at HIRF. If there is no one on the desk you can use the phone there to call us on (07) 3646 5820.

Preparing for the scan:

Before a scan we may ask you to change into a hospital gown or scrubs for safety reasons. Scrubs are cotton pyjama-like outfits worn by doctors during surgery – you may have seen them on medical dramas. Jewellery might have to be removed, and certain makeup. There are lockers available for all your clothing and valuables.

You will also be asked the safety questions again to make sure that nothing has changed. For a PET scan, you may need to sit in a comfortable chair before the scan. The PET tracer will be injected, and you may have to wait in the chair while it works its way to the right organ.

What to expect during the scan:

All of our scanners make different noises while the picture is being taken. You will be asked to keep as still as possible while the noise is on. You will be given a squeeze ball, and the radiographers or nuclear medicine technicians will talk to you during the scan.

You may like to check out our walk-through video, to see what the unit looks like.


+61 7 3646 5820


Level 3, UQCCR
Building 71/918
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Herston QLD 4029 Australia

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