X-ray pictures, or radiographs, have been used for over a century to produce diagnostic images of the body. X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which also includes visible light. Unlike visible light, x-rays pass through the body, and because denser structures like bones block more of the x-rays than less dense structures, an accurate picture of the various densities is produced. Originally x-ray images were captured using glass plates, then for many years film was used. Recently digital capture using PACS (picture archiving communication system) has gained widespread use and has proven to be efficient and effective.
All radiologic technologists at Genesis are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, (ARRT), are certified in CPR, and keep their state licensure current by obtaining continuing education credits throughout the year
What to Expect
You will be asked to remove any metallic or dense items from the area being examined, as these objects will block x-rays and obscure desired details. Depending on the exam you may need to put on a hospital gown. You may be given lead shielding to limit exposure to areas not directly x-rayed. You will be asked about your medical history as it pertains to the exam being done, and female patients will be asked if there is any possibility of pregnancy. Pregnant patients can be x-rayed if the benefits outweigh the risks, but extra precautions will be taken. Usually at least two or three exposures are made at different angles to one another, or in different positions. Your technologist will ask you to stop breathing for certain types of exams in order to limit motion.
For best results, please remain still during the actual x-ray exposures because motion will cause the image to be blurry. Please tell your technologist if you have had prior x-rays of the body part you are having x-rayed because comparison of old x-rays to new ones is recommended when available. Please follow your technologist's instructions regarding position and breathing to avoid having to repeat a view.
You will be asked to wait while your technologist reviews the images and he/she may check them with the radiologist before releasing you. In most cases you may return to your usual routine immediately. A Radiologist will interpret the images and dictate a report that with be typed and sent to the doctor that ordered the exam for you.