X-ray (Plain Film Medical Imaging)
Plain film imaging uses x-rays to produce an image of the bones, lungs or teeth to aid in diagnosis. The information produced is saved like a photograph which can then be interpreted by a radiologist or specially trained radiographer. This is the test that is often referred to as an X-ray.
Here at Barnsley Hospital we have four general X-ray rooms, including one dedicated to the emergency department and one dedicated to dental X-rays.
Our opening hours are:
- appointments service – Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm
- dental walk-in service (via dental practitioner only) – Monday to Friday, 9am to 11.45am
There is no preparation required for plain film imaging. Patients who have booked an appointment may be asked to confirm their appointment by text.
On arrival at the department
After booking in at the medical imaging main reception, patients will be asked to wait in the main waiting area. A member of staff will call out the patient's name and escort the patient to a sub-wait area. You may be required to remove certain clothing or jewellery, and change into a hospital gown. Changing rooms and locker facilities are available.
Women patients (and trans men and some non-binary people, if applicable) between the ages of 12 and 55 will be asked questions related to their last menstrual period (LMP) prior to certain plain film examinations.
During the X-ray
The radiographer (or assistant practitioner or student) performing the test will explain what is going to happen and in what position you need to be in. You will either lie on the table or stand up for an X-ray.
Clear instructions will be provided prior to and throughout the examination.
On average the X-ray will last between 5 and 15 minutes.
Can someone stay during the x-ray?
No, due to the exposure to ionising radiation patients cannot be accompanied during the X-ray. For very small children requiring X-rays the radiographer will ask a parent or carer to accompany, and hold their child. In this scenario the parent will be asked to wear a lead apron to protect them from the radiation.
Are there any risks to having an X-ray?
Plain film imaging is a technique that uses x-rays and therefore, has the usual risks associated with ionising radiation. The amount of radiation received is dependent on the test performed. At Barnsley Hospital, the majority of our x-rays are produced digitally using modern equipment that uses less radiation than traditional analogue technologies.
When will the X-Ray results be available?
The radiographer will not be able to give patients their results. The X-ray will be studied by a consultant radiologist or a specially trained radiographer who will send the results to the person that referred the patient. This normally takes no more than seven days.
However, if you have been referred via the emergency department or a clinic within the Trust, you may return to that clinic on the same day. Your consultant will view the X-ray at that time.