BGSA Radiology makes it a priority to ensure patients are at ease during their x-ray so here is what you should expect when you come visit our clinic:
- General Radiology services are on a first come, first serve basis.
- Please turn off or mute your phone before arriving.
- BGSA provides our patients with private changing rooms and you will be given a comfortable gown to change into. Please note, you may be asked to remove your jewelry.
Radiation is best described as energy moving through space, and it can take many forms, including visible light, X-rays, gamma rays, microwaves and radio waves. Radiological Technologists use low dose radiation in the form of X-rays to create images of different parts of the body, including its internal structure.
If a requisition was given to you by your primary care provider, you must bring it with you.
Children cannot be left unattended in our clinic, please arrange child care should you need it.
X-Rays are the type of radiation used in general medical imaging. Much like how a camera uses visible light to create an image, X-rays pass through the body and create an image on an imaging plate.
Our technologists are licensed to practice by The Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists or The Alberta College of Combined Laboratory and X-ray Technologists
Where does radiation come from?
Radiation is all around us. The two main sources of ionizing radiation are from natural background radiation and medical exposure (CT scans and X-rays). Natural background radiation comes from the sun (cosmic radiation), the Earth (mostly Radon gas), and from naturally radioactive substances in our body.
Natural background radiation exposure accounts for an average of 1.8 mSv/yr with variations depending on where you live. The average radiation exposure to individuals in Canada is 4.2 mSv/yr which includes natural background and medical imaging.
What does mSv stand for?
mSv is a standard unit used to measure radiation dose and exposure. “mSv” stands for millisievert.
What are common radiation doses?
- Dental X-rays: 0.01 mSv
- An airline flight: 0.02 mSv
- Mammogram: 0.04 mSv
- Chest X-ray: 0.10 mSv
- Natural Background Radiation: 1.8 mSv/year
- Average Exposure Total: 4.2 mSv/year
- Chest CT: 7.0 mSv
- Abdominal CT: 8.0 mSv
What are the risks of having an x-ray?
Great effort has been made throughout the medical imaging community to ensure patient safety while providing quality diagnostic images. Your technologist is responsible for your safety and will ask if there is any chance of pregnancy to those females between the ages of 12 and 55.
Even though there is no scientific proof that low doses of radiation used with common X-rays or CT scans can cause cancer, we protect you from unnecessary radiation by using the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle. We shield the areas that are not part of the image we are obtaining and we make our x-ray field as small as possible. These measures reduce your dose even further.