General x-ray

What is an x-ray?

X-rays are best known for looking at broken bones but are also used to look at other anatomical structures in the body. They aid in the diagnosis, observation and treatment of acute and chronic pathological changes to the body.

X-Rays form part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. They create the image based on absorption. The denser the object that is being imaged, the ‘whiter’ they appear on the radiograph.  When looking at a chest radiograph, the bones and heart structures are much thicker than the lungs and soft tissue. The bone appears white and the lungs appear black because more x-rays pass through the body being captured by the imaging receptor. The resultant image is digitised and displayed for radiologists to diagnose pathologies.

Our x-ray rooms

When entering an x-ray room, you will be able to see the x-ray tube (suspended from the ceiling) and the x-ray table.  The x-ray rooms at PCH feature colourful wall art and audio-visual facilities help to capture the imaginations of children and provide a positive distraction for patients. The rooms combine technology and art to create an environment unique to paediatric radiography and allow us to deliver a high quality imaging service where patient comfort is a priority.

What do I do before the examination?

Most x-ray examinations do not require any preparation. Items of clothing may have to be removed if they could interfere with the diagnostic image. The radiographer will be able to advise whether your child’s clothing is suitable or if any items will need to be removed.

We encourage you to stay with your child during their examination for their comfort and peace of mind.

Examinations range in length from about five to 15 minutes.

What do I do during the examination?

X-rays are taken very fast (a fraction of a second). Your child may require multiple x-rays from different angles. They may be required to stand, sit or lie down depending on the information required.

The radiographer will explain what is required before the examination starts and answer any questions that you may have.

What happens after the examination?

The radiographer will assess the images and let you know when your child can leave.

Your child can eat and drink normally unless your child’s referring doctor has told you otherwise.

When do I get the results?

If your child is seen in a clinic or is on a ward, their images will be seen by the referring doctor and a paediatric radiologist. If your child has been sent here by your GP, we will send a report back to them.