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Claustrophobic? Silver Cross MRI Tech helps patients in Homer Glen Center

Joliet, IL (November 16, 2010)—Do your palms sweat when you enter an elevator? Does your chest tighten up making it difficult for you to breathe when you are in a small space with a crowd of people? Even those who don’t suffer from these symptoms, often report having some claustrophobic response when receiving a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. For Thomas DiGrazia and Janis Svigelj overcoming these anxieties were possible thanks to the assistance of MRI Technologist Margaret Hir at the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen.

For New Lenox resident Janis Svigelj, who suffers from claustrophobia so badly that she takes medication, scheduling her third MRI still created a lot of anxiety. “Even though my medication helps with my claustrophobia, I always suffer when I’m in tight spaces,” said Svigelj. “I was still very anxious as I went to get my MRI at the Silver Cross Health Center. Fortunately my technician, Margaret, was wonderful. She spoke to me very calmly and was very upbeat which alleviated my claustrophobic feelings.”

img_4650Caption: MRI Technologist Margaret Hir talks with a patient during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen.

For Margaret Hir successfully helping patients through their tight space anxiety is attributed to her sincere empathy to their uneasiness. “I just try to make every patient’s experience the best it can be. I imagine how I would feel if it was my loved one going through the MRI scanner and how they would want to be treated,” said Hir.

Even under the best conditions, few people enjoy the confinement, noise and awkward position associated with MRI scans. Hir suggests the following coping techniques to make this test as comfortable as possible:

  • Serve as a support person: “I explain to all of my patients that I’m there for them if they need anything,” said Hir.
  • Keep patient engaged: “I make a conscious effort to talk to my patients before each scan explaining the entire procedure, so they know what to expect,” said Hir.
  • Talk frequently: “I speak to my patients frequently during the scan, communicating the length of the scan and letting them know they are in charge,” said Hir.


Homer Glen resident Thomas DiGrazia was a first time MRI patient when he met Hir and experienced similar success. “Since I never had an MRI before I was very apprehensive, but I’m so thankful to have had Margaret walk me through the test,” said DiGrazia. “She was fantastic! She was very calming and reassuring and made me so comfortable through the entire process.”

“What was also nice about my MRI was that it was so close to my house and I was able to schedule my test so soon,” said DiGrazia.

Award-winning Testing Close to Home
Silver Cross has brought more of its “Top 100” services to the community with this health  center at 143rd St. & Bell Rd. in Homer Glen.  The Silver Cross Health Center offers MRI, CT Ultrasound, Heart Screenings X-ray services.  To schedule an appointment with a doctor’s order, call (815) 740-7076. 

Day, evening and weekend appointments are available with test results within 24-hours.  The hi-tech, quality images are read by Silver Cross board certified radiologists and digitally stored in the hospital’s Pictorial Archiving Communication System (PACS).   Using PACS, both the images and results can be reviewed by the patient’s doctor anytime, anywhere.  The images can also be transferred to a CD and given to the patient before leaving the appointment.

There are also several physician offices located in the Silver Cross Health Center including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine and neurosurgeons, urologists, cardiologists, and family practice physicians. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.

Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center
In the same building, Silver Cross also offers a Free-Standing Emergency Care Center open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staffed by Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. Paramedics are onsite 24/7 at the Homer Glen Emergency Care Center to immediately transfer patients by ambulance to a nearby hospital if they need to be admitted to the hospital.

Patients can check ER wait times—if any at for both the Homer Glen Free-Standing Emergency Care Center as well as Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last six consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction is underway to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in 2012 in New Lenox.  To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


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