This explains more about having an X-ray, including the benefits, risks and any alternatives. It also provides information on what you can expect when you come to the centre.
If you have any further questions, please speak to your Doctor.
What is an X-ray?
X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves, similar to light, except that they have a much higher frequency, which makes them invisible to the naked eye. An X-ray is a widely used diagnostic test and is used to examine the inside of the body by creating a medical image.
What happens during an X-ray?
- Your X-ray will be performed by a radiographer.
- You may be asked to change into a gown. There are many different X-ray examinations and depending on your particular examination you may be asked to remove certain items of clothing and jewllery.
- The radiographer will ask you to confirm some details, including your identity.
- You will then be asked to move into different positions in order to take the X-ray.
- Some X-ray examinations require the use of different equipment in different rooms. It may, therefore, seem as though some patients go in ahead of turn, but this is not the case.
Why should i have an X-ray?
An X-ray can give information that leads to, or helps make, a diagnosis about your medical condition. X-rays can also be used to monitor an existing condition. It will be your doctor who decides that you might benefit from having an X-ray.
What are the risks?
X-rays are of a type of radiation known as ionising radiation. The dose that you get from a medical X-ray is very low and the associated risks are minimal. They are similar in strength to other sources of natural radiation that people are exposed to everyday without even realising it. The radiographer is responsible for making sure that your dose is kept as low as possible and that the benefits of having the X-ray outweigh any risk.
Female Patients: Radiation can be harmful for an unborn baby. If you are, or think you may be, pregnant you must tell the radiographer before the x-ray. For some examinations a radiographer may check your pregnancy status with you before the x-ray.
Each x-ray request will be checked by the radiographer to make sure it is properly justified and necessary. An x-ray is very quick and no appointment is needed. It is often the first point of investigation to help the doctor decide if any other forms of imaging or tests are needed.
How can I prepare for an x-ray?
- Children: unfortunately we are unable to offer childcare facilities. If you need to bring your children with you, please bring along an adult who can supervise them while your examination is being done.
- If you have any medical problems which you feel may affect your safety whilst you are in the Department, or if you feel you may need any assistance, please let us know when you arrive.
Giving my consent (permissions)
The radiographer will ask you if you are happy for the x-ray to go ahead. This is a form of verbal consent and may only involve the radiographer checking your book for the correct x-ray. If you do not wish to have the x-ray or undecided, please ask your radiographer so that they can answer any questions you may have.
Remember, it is your decision. You can change your mind at any time and your wishes will be respected. However, not having the x-ray may delay your diagnosis as the doctors main not have the needed information.
Will I feel any pain?
You cannot feel x-rays and so the procedure itself is painless. However, it is important for the radiographer to get you into the correct position. Holding this position online on the x-ray table may, for some people, feel uncomfortable, but for the majority of patients with is not the case.
What happens after the X-Ray?
The radiographer may ask you to wait in the department while a check that no more x-ray pictures are required. As soon as the radiographers is satisfied that no more x-rays are needed, you will be free to leave a department.
When will I get results?
Your x-ray pictures will be studied by a radiologist (a doctor who uses x-rays to diagnose and treat illnesses) and the results will be sent to the doctor who referred you.
The radiographer will tell you how to get your results and how long it will take, as this may be slightly different for each patient. You may already have an appointment with the doctor who referred you. If not, please contact them to arrange a time to talk about results and any treatment you may need.
What should I do if I have a problem?
You should not have any problems that as a result of the x-ray. If you feel your condition has changed, all you need further medical advice before receiving the results, please make an appointment with the doctor referred you.