What Should I Know Before Getting an X-ray?

Not only are the events leading up to an X-ray often unpleasant, but getting an X-ray in and of itself can be a little nerve-wracking. So, what do need to know before getting an X-ray, and is anything required of you that will end up being inconvenient?

Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team shares some helpful information about the X-ray process below, so read on!

What Are X-rays?

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate or pass through the human body and produce shadow-like images of bones and some organs. The images can reveal signs of disease and injury.

There are several different types of X-rays that are used for different purposes, but the most common (and perhaps the one you need to get soon) is a bone X-ray. We’ve listed the most common X-ray procedures below.

Other X-ray Procedures

  • Radiography, which produces a still X-ray image
  • Fluoroscopy, which enables the observation of motion within the body and certain diagnostic and treatment procedures
  • Computed tomography, which produces more detailed still images

Do I Need to Do a Lot to Prepare for an X-ray?

No, you don’t typically have to do anything special to prepare for a common bone X-ray. However, depending on the area that your doctor and radiologist are examining, you may want to wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. They also may ask you to change into a hospital gown for the test.

Also, it’s important to let your doctor know if you have metal implants, like knee or hip replacements. These implants can block X-rays from passing through your body and creating a clear image. If you are still worried about getting an X-ray, we’ve listed some additional ways to prepare below.

More Ways to Prepare for an X-ray

  • If you are a woman, tell your doctor if you might be pregnant. The doctor will also likely ask about your last menstrual period to assure that it is safe to take the radiographs.
  • Remove any clothing over the part of the body to be X-rayed. If necessary, you will be given a gown and sometimes a protective lead drape to shield the rest of your body.
  • Remove all jewelry from the body part that will be X-rayed. The metal in the jewelry may obscure the image.

Has your child gotten in an accident at a local sports or summer camp and needs an X-ray? Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team is here for you, so don’t hesitate to visit us.