Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
General Radiology

General Radiology

Examination Information

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.

Exam Notes

  • You must bring the the x-ray request form as this is a legal document and no examination can be performed without it.
  • Please note: If the x-ray request is filled out incorrectly we may have to obtain a new form that is correctly filled out.
  • A radiographer may ask any patient between the age of 12 -55 if there is a chance of pregnancy.
  • Patients may be asked to change into a hospital gown and/or remove certain items of jewellery as these items can interfere with the quality of the image.

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 crèche 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.


Plain X-rays are available on Monday - Friday between 8.30 am-5 pm.

Please bring with you the form from your doctor and any X-rays you have had previously.

Outside of this time an X-ray service is provided for inpatient and emergency care. If your child requires an X-ray out of hours please report to the Paediatric Emergency Department for assessment.

Contact details

Unit Head, Paediatric Imaging
Dr Rebecca Linke
Phone (08) 8161 7731

Team Leader General Radiography and Angiography
Ms Deb Balman
Phone (08) 8161 7195


Level 2 Rogerson Building.

Mailing address

Medical Imaging
Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Road
North Adelaide
South Australia 5006


Enquiries Ph (08) 8161 6639

Appointment Ph (08) 8161 6055

Fax (08) 8161 6333

Email debbie.balman@sa.gov.au

last modified: 24 Mar 2016