A radiology exam can seem very daunting, but with more information, you’re likely to feel better equipped and confident heading into the exam.
A radiology exam can seem very daunting, and many people struggle with feelings of stress and anxiety before going for it. If you’re about to have your first radiology exam, we will walk you through the process, from what you need to prepare beforehand to how the actual exam will play out. You’re likely to feel better equipped and confident heading into the exam with more information.
Different Types Of Radiology Exams
A radiology exam can be performed at either a hospital with a radiology department or a separate radiology clinic like the Mermaid Beach Radiology clinic. Radiology, also known as diagnostic imaging, is a term for high-energy radiation testing to develop medical imaging that can help in diagnosing and treating different conditions. Some examples of radiology exams include X-rays, CT (computer tomography) scans, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, mammograms, and ultrasounds.
Set A Reminder For Your Exam Date
Once you get a prescription or a referral for a radiology exam by your physician, be sure to head to the radiology department or call a radiology clinic to set up your appointment. Once you’ve got an appointment, make a note of it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone, whichever is easier and more convenient for you.
A reminder will ensure that you do not miss your appointment and have plenty of time before the exam to make any preparations. Call the clinic a day or two in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule the exam.
What To Prepare Before The Exam
When heading to the radiology clinic, remember to keep your prescription or referral with you. The same goes for any other medical files and insurance documents. If you are on any medications, keep a list of them with you.
It would be a good idea to wear comfortable clothing that is not restrictive. If you are required to put on a clinical gown, your clothing should be easy to remove. Avoid wearing jewelry and hair accessories that will have to be removed for the exam.
Some exams will require you to be fasting for a certain period before the exam. Be sure to get this information from the clinic to prepare for the exam. There is also some patient prep that may be required. This could include taking oral or IV contrast liquid for more precise imaging or mild sedation.
Things To Inform The Technician About
Depending on the type of radiology exam you’ll be having, there are certain things your technician should be made aware of. For example, let your technician know if you are pregnant or suspect that you might be. X-rays are usually not done on a patient that is pregnant.
If you are breastfeeding, diabetic, taking insulin, on a specific medically-ordered diet, have an implanted medical device, or if you’ve had a previous organ transplant surgery, all of this is important information that can affect the way that your exam will be carried out.
While most of this information will be in your medical history, and the staff, physicians, and technicians at the radiology clinic are trained to go through your records meticulously, it is better to be on the safe side and disclose any information you think might be relevant.
The Exam Itself
Now for the exam itself. Depending on the type of exam, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and a half. Before the exam, you will be asked to change into a medical gown, remove any jewelry and accessories, as well as glasses and hearing aids. During the exam, you should remain calm and relaxed and stay as still as possible.
Keep an ear out for any instructions from the technician, whether they ask you to hold your breath or reposition any part of your body. The better you follow instructions, the clearer your imaging is likely to be.
Something to ease your mind is that a radiology exam is entirely external and non-invasive. It is not dangerous in any way and is mostly painless.
The Post-Exam Process
After the radiology exam is done, you can change back into your regular clothes and collect all your belongings. The technicians will confirm that the imaging is accurate and appropriate. If it is not, you may have to re-do the exam. The technician will then inform you about the next steps. Usually, this involves taking the examination results to your primary physician for a diagnosis.
Our Final Thoughts
We know that medical exams can be quite scary and cause a lot of stress. However, the better prepared you are, the easier it will be. Good luck with your first radiology exam.