An X-ray, also called radiography, creates images of structures inside your body. To make these images, X-rays use a small, safe amount of ionizing radiation. X-rays are interpreted by radiologists — highly trained physicians who specialize in X-rays and other diagnostic images such as CT scans.
At Dignity Health, our skilled doctors provide high-quality emergency X-ray and radiography in Arizona. Come to one of our ERs in an emergency for personalized care. Select your estimated arrival time online using our InQuicker™ tool.
Why Doctors Perform X-ray
X-rays are a common diagnostic test in emergency settings. Doctors perform an X-ray to examine internal body parts and diagnose a wide range of conditions.
Doctors use an X-ray for joint pain, pain with localized swelling and warmth, or following an injury to help diagnose:
Doctors use a chest X-ray for shortness of breath, cough with fever, or following an injury to help diagnose:
- Fluid in the lungs
- Chest trauma, including broken ribs and collapsed lung
- Lung cancer
- Enlarged heart
Doctors use an abdominal X-ray for unexplained nausea, nonspecific belly, or pelvic pain, and other symptoms to help diagnose:
- Kidney stones
- Swallowed objects
- Digestive tract problems (using barium contrast)
- Bowel obstruction
What to Expect With Emergency X-Ray at Dignity Health
Most X-rays take just a few minutes. Some X-rays, such as a barium contrast, take much longer.
Your technologist will position your body on an X-ray table or platform. You may need supports or other devices to keep your body part in position. You may also wear a lead apron or covering to protect other areas of your body from radiation.
You may need to hold your breath for a moment while some X-rays are taken to avoid blurring the image. Sometimes, it is necessary to repeat the X-ray to get the best image.
Most of the time, the radiation you are exposed to during an individual X-ray poses little health risk. However, the risk varies by body part imaged and your age and gender. If you are pregnant or think you might be, tell your doctor. Your doctor may suggest an imaging test that does not use radiation, such as ultrasound or MRI. Ask your doctor to use the lowest possible dose of radiation to achieve acceptable results.
A radiologist will read and interpret your X-ray and send a report to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the results with you. In a Dignity Health ER, this collaboration can happen quickly because we use advanced digital computer images.
After seeing the results, your doctor may be able to diagnose your problem and recommend treatment. If not, additional imaging exams or other tests may be necessary.
Dignity Health provides exceptional care through our emergency services, including X-ray, in Arizona.