Radiology facilities at Victoria Hospital, Wimborne

What is an X-ray?

An X-ray is a painless diagnostic test which uses radiation to produce 2D images of the body.

What is an ultrasound scan?

An ultrasound scan is a painless diagnostic test which uses sound waves to produce images – exactly the same as scans carried out on pregnant ladies.

Why would some people be having X-ray and others ultrasound?

Certain body areas are better seen on X-ray e.g. the bones. Ultrasound is better for other areas not seen well on X-ray such as some soft tissue structures e.g. the kidneys and bladder. Often, both are useful and offer their own unique benefits and can be used together to complement one another.

What do the radiology staff members do?

If you are here for ultrasound this will be carried out by either a sonographer, (a sonographer is a master’s level trained professional who uses ultrasound to produce images of structures within your body), or a consultant radiologist (a specialist doctor), dependent on the part of the body which is to be scanned.

If you are here for an X-ray a radiographer (a university trained professional who uses X-ray to produce images of structures within your body) performs the test and ensures that it is done in a safe manner.

The consultant cadiologist or a reporting radiographer (a master’s level trained specialist radiographer) ‘read’ the X-ray’s and generate a report. This is sent back to the team that referred you for your scan e.g. your GP.

Assistants prepare patients by getting them changed for their examination and help with general patient care during the scan and act as a chaperone when necessary.

The clerical staff manage all the bookings, plus many associated telephone and postal queries. They also staff the reception desk to greet you on arrival.

Whilst you are here for your test, it is likely that you will meet members of each of these staff groups. Please feel free to ask them anything you are unsure about.

How long will the examination take?

Depending on the type of examination most X-rays take between 10-20 minutes.

Will I need to undress for my examination?

The clerical team or the assistants will notify you if you need to change for your test. If you are required to change we will provide you with a gown.

Will the radiographer give me the result of my X-ray?

No – this is because all X-ray images require specialist interpretation by a consultant radiologist or reporting radiographer, who will then send a written report of their findings to your doctor.

The only exception to this is in the case of those patient’s referred to X-ray from the minor injuries unit (MIU) or from an outpatient clinic.  In these cases the MIU and the outpatient clinic team are trained to assess the X-ray’s and a formal report is performed later by the consultant radiologist or reporting radiographer.

When will my doctor receive the results of my X-ray?

Your doctor will receive the X-ray results within 7-10 days of your X-ray examination – although it is often sooner than this. If your doctor has requested an urgent report, then they should receive this within 48 hours.

Some people arrived after me, but went in first!

This is likely as we run an appointment system. Remember also that we have one waiting room for both X-ray and ultrasound patients.

Can I make a comment about the radiology service?

We really want to hear what you think. If you have any comments, both positive and negative, we want to understand them. Please ask reception on how best to leave feedback.

If you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to ask the radiographer.

Useful information if you are having an ultrasound scan

How long will the examination take?

Depending on the type of examination most ultrasound scans take 10-20 minutes.

Will I need to undress for my examination?

The clerical team or the assistants will notify you if you need to change for your scan. If you are required to change we will provide you with a gown.

My letter instructed me to fill my bladder for the ultrasound scan – Why?

Some ultrasound scans require a full bladder in order to view organs in the pelvic area i.e. bladder, uterus, ovaries (water is available in the waiting area). If your bladder is feeling uncomfortably full please inform the clerical staff and we will attempt to see you as soon as possible. Not all patients will have been asked to fill their bladder.

Can I use the toilet?

Unless you have been asked to fill your bladder for your ultrasound scan you are able to use the toilet. The toilet can be found in the corner of the main waiting room.

My letter instructed me to starve - Why?

Certain organs, such as the gall bladder can only be seen adequately if you have starved. NB. Not all patients will have been requested to starve.

Can I bring a chaperone into the scan with me?

All patients have a female chaperone to accompany them for their examination. If patients wish to have an additional chaperone, we will do our best to accommodate your needs, however please be aware there is limited space in the scan room.

When will the results of my ultrasound scan?

The sonographer/consultant radiologist may give you a verbal report of their findings at the end of your scan. However a full diagnosis may require further investigation, in which case a formal written report will be sent to your doctor, usually within 24 hours.

Some people arrived after me, but went in first!

This is likely as we run an appointment system. Remember also that we have one waiting room for both X-ray and ultrasound patients.

Can I make a comment about the radiology service?         

We really want to hear what you think. If you have any comments, both positive and negative, we want to understand them. Please ask reception on how best to leave feedback.

If you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to ask the sonographer.
Victoria Community Hospital - Wimborne