So, You Need an X-Ray?: Here’s What to Expect During an X-Ray

Broken shoulder X-ray

Are you scared of medical procedures? You’re not alone: 3% of the world population is afraid of the doctor. That’s over 225 million people!

One way that many people find relief is knowing exactly what will happen when they visit the doctor. Understanding each step will take away some of the fear and uncertainty that can come with medical procedures.

With that in mind, let’s go over exactly what you can expect when you get an X-Ray. 

Why Would You Need an X-Ray?

X-rays are used to take a look at structures and bones inside your body. X-ray machines are essentially medical cameras that take pictures of different dense masses inside your body for doctors to better examine.

This could be to look at whether bones are broken or fractured, tumors, and other internal structures.

How Do X-Rays Work?

While cameras use visible light to take pictures, x-ray machines use x-ray wavelengths of light in order to create images of the inside of your body.

Dense materials like bones and internal structures will appear white on the x-ray because it absorbs the wavelength of light, while lighter materials like muscle and skin won’t appear on the film.

What to Expect

First of all: don’t worry! You can’t feel an x-ray at all. Just like you can’t feel when you’re getting your picture taken, you won’t be able to feel the x-ray picture either.

To start, the medical professional will give you protective vests and wraps around your upper body and/or genital area. This is to protect those areas from wavelengths that could harm you.

For some types of x-rays, you may be asked to ingest a liquid that increases the contrast or shows certain internal structures better. This won’t hurt, and it will help the doctors visualize what they’re looking at better.

Next, they will position the area they need x-rays of properly under the x-ray machine. They’ll ask you to stay as still as possible, and they may ask you to hold your breath. This is to make sure that the picture doesn’t come out blurry.

The medical professional will then leave the room and press a button that will take the picture. It shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes.

You’ll then be allowed to take off the protective vests and you’ll wait for your results. Here at Coastal Urgent Care of Bossier, we use digital x-rays which means you’re going to get your results faster and get more accurate results for a quick diagnosis.

Final Thoughts

If you think of an x-ray as just a picture, then it doesn’t seem so intimidating, does it? This technique can help quickly and efficiently diagnose a problem will virtually no side effects or pain.

Hopefully understanding exactly what to expect during this procedure can ease some of your anxiety. If you want to learn more about different procedures and services, check out our blog for more info.