X-rays: what the nurse needs to know
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

X-rays: what the nurse needs to know

Rebecca Myatt Respiratory diagnostic clinical nurse specialist, Guy’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, England

Rationale and key points

X-ray imaging is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is able to pass through the human body producing an image of the internal structures. X-rays are one of the main investigations for confirming a suspected diagnosis. Developing an understanding of the underlying mechanism and the rationale for requesting an X-ray will increase nurses’ understanding of the process and enable improved patient preparation through explanation and reassurance. This article provides an overview of the fundamental principles underlying the process of obtaining an X-ray.

X-ray imaging is a common diagnostic tool that nurses will encounter on a regular basis.

Several factors affect the production of a clear X-ray image, including patient movement.

Radiation safety and avoidance of unnecessary exposure are paramount.

Co-operation and communication by the multidisciplinary team are vital to ensure that X-ray imaging can be requested, performed, interpreted and acted on, and the findings communicated to the patient.

Nursing Standard. 32, 1, 39-43. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10749

Correspondence

Rebecca.Myatt@gstt.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 16 November 2016

Accepted: 15 March 2017

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or