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General imaging is a multi-faceted modality that uses small amounts of ionizing radiation to produce images of both bones and internal organs. General Imaging is usually the first thing a patient thinks of when they hear the word x-ray. An x-ray (radiograph) is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
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There is no prep required. However, to avoid harming our female patients, we ask women from 12-55 years if there is any chance of pregnancy. If there is any chance of pregnancy, then we cannot proceed with the exam until pregnancy is ruled out.
When you arrive at the Medical Imaging Department, check in at the reception desk. The receptionist may ask you for:
If your appointment is at Mount Sinai Hospital or Women's College Hospital, you will need to allow extra time before your appointment to get a card for that hospital.
The technologist will come to get you from the waiting room when it's time for your x-ray. Bring all your valuables with you. The technologist will also let you know if you need to change into a hospital gown.
If you need to change, you'll be given a gown and then sent to the changing area. The technologist will tell you what clothing you'll need to remove and show you where to wait afterward.
The technologist will call you into the x-ray room and confirm your name and birth date, and then you'll be moved into a position for the x-ray.
You'll need to hold still while the x-ray's being taken, and you may even need to hold your breath – the technologist will let you know. But it's the same principle as normal photos – if you move, we get a blurry picture, and that won't help us in getting information from the image.
The technologist uploads your x-rays to a computer database. Then a radiologist writes a report on what the x-rays show and sends it to the requesting physician.
Please keep in mind the technologist can't give you the results when your x-ray is finished. Your doctor will give you the final results.
X-rays often don't take very long. The whole process can range from about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the x-rays you're having.
We do our best to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.