General Diagnostic Imaging
What is a diagnostic X-ray procedure?
A diagnostic X-ray is a procedure used to make radiographs (X-ray pictures) of the body's bones and internal organs. Radiographs help physicians detect or rule out abnormalities and disease, such as pneumonia, broken bones or signs of cancer.
Do I need a physician's order to get an X-ray?
Yes, your physician must order the X-ray. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
Where can I get my X-ray taken?
You may get your X-ray taken at Wheeling Hospital, Belmont Community Hospital or one of the Outpatient Clinics. If you have your X-ray taken at Wheeling Hospital, stop at Outpatient Registration (Tower 4) before going to the X-ray Department. Outpatient Registration closes at 5:30 p.m. If you arrive later than that, register by entering through the Emergency Room.
What are the hours of operation?
The hours of operation vary according to the facility.
Do I need an appointment?
You do not need an appointment for a regular X-ray, such as a chest X-ray. You only need an appointment for specialized exams, such as an IVP, upper GI or barium enema.
How long will my X-ray take?
The time it takes to complete an X-ray depends on the number of exams your physician orders. It could be as quick as 10 minutes for a single chest X-ray or longer for multiple exams. It also depends on whether there are other patients ahead of you.
Will I need to put on a patient gown?
Depending on the exam, you may be asked to put on a patient gown. The technologist may also ask you to remove jewelry, hair clips or dentures if they will interfere with the area of interest.
Questions the technologist may ask:
- Do you have allergies, asthma or diabetes?
- Have you ever had a reaction to a contrast medium (X-ray dye)?
- Are you pregnant or could you be pregnant?
During the exam:
The technologist will position you and ask you to remain still for the exposure. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds. The technologist will move in and out of the X-ray room while the images are processed.
After the exam:
In most cases, you won't get results the same day. Your health care provider will receive a copy of the results to review with you.