What is an X ray?

X rays are commonly used to capture images of bones, joints, the chest and the spine. This is the type of scan that most people are familiar with.

An X ray involves shining a small amount of ionising radiation through the body to produce images on film or screen.

What happens during an X ray?

Our radiographer will place you into the correct position ready for your X ray. You may be asked to lie down on a table, sit down on a chair or to stand in position against a panel. This depends upon which area of the body is being X rayed. The radiographer may need to touch the area being X rayed to ensure that it is correctly positioned.

Our radiographer will then move behind a screen to switch on the X-ray device. They will step out from behind the screen once the X ray is complete.

How long does an X ray take?

A single X ray only takes a few minutes however; the radiographer may wish to take more than one X ray, in different positions.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, we are happy for a friend or family member to accompany you. However, we cannot let them in to the room where you will be examined; this is for health and safety reasons.

Are there any side effects?

X rays are not safe for, or given to, pregnant women unless they have a serious medical condition which requires diagnostic imaging. If you think you may be pregnant, it is important to tell us before the day of your appointment.

What happens after an X ray?

After your X ray, you can go home.


This information is also available on a downloadable patient information sheet.

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