Division of Medical Imaging
Radiography is the imaging of body structures using x-rays. x-rays are a form of radiation similar to visible light, radiowaves and microwaves. x-radiation is unique because it has a very high energy level that allows the x-ray beam to penetrate through the body and create an image or picture.
The image is created because the x-ray beam is absorbed differently by different parts of the body. Bone absorbs a high percentage of the beam and has a white appearance on the image, whilst low density structures such as soft tissue absorb a small percentage, which results in different shades of grey. The body has many different structures of varying densities and this difference creates an image.
What preparation is involved?
There is no specific preparation for a general X-ray.
X-ray examinations are fast. Most procedures are quicker than 15 minutes, however if you are having a skeletal survey or if the patient is uncooperative the examination could take longer.
A radiographer will explain the procedure and prepare the patient accordingly. Depending on the body part being examined the child may be sitting or standing. It is important the child is completely still when the image is taken or the image may be blurred (small children may need to be held still). At least 2 images will be taken so the Radiologist can make a diagnosis.
Please remember you are welcome to ask questions about the process if you have any concerns.
It is preferable to have 1 adult accompany the child for the procedure. Other children will not be allowed into the procedure room; an adult must accompany them and stay with them in the waiting area.
Children up to 10 years old may be cared for in the WCH crÃ¨che which is a free service; open between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
How to access the service
A referral letter or request form is required from your doctor prior to any X-ray. Plain X-rays can be done at any time during business hours Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5pm. The more complex studies require a booking to be made. Your doctor will indicate to you if a booking is required. If you are not sure please phone the booking staff on (08) 8161 6055.
Some of our studies require special preparation. Instructions will be given at the time the appointment is made. If these instructions are not followed it may not be possible to carry out the study and a new time will need to be booked so please be sure to follow instructions carefully.