Imaging Department

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an x-ray?

An x-ray is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. What is the Purpose of an x-ray? Your doctor may order an X-ray to:
  • Examine an area where you’re experiencing pain or discomfort
  • Monitor the progression of a diagnosed disease, such as osteoporosis
  • Check how well a prescribed treatment is working


Some people worry x-rays are unsafe because radiation exposure can cause cell mutations that may lead to cancer. Our state-of-the-art digital equipment reduces unnecessary radiation exposure. The amount of radiation you are exposed to during an x-ray depends on the tissue or organ being examined. Sensitivity to the radiation depends on your age, with children being more sensitive than adults.

Generally, however, radiation exposure from an x-ray is low, and the benefits from these tests far outweigh the risks. However, if you're pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, tell your doctor before having an x-ray. Though the risk of most diagnostic x-rays to an unborn baby is small, your doctor may consider another imaging test, such as ultrasound.

How do I prepare?

  • The technologist may ask you to change into a hospital gown for the test.
  • They may also ask you to remove any jewelry or other metallic items
  • Bring Insurance card
  • Bring photo ID

What Can I Expect?

During the x-ray

A technologist positions your body to obtain the necessary views. Pillows or sandbags may be used to help you hold the position. During the test, you must stay still (and sometimes hold your breath to avoid moving) to prevent blurry images.

A specialized machine produces a safe level of radiation that passes through your body and records an image on a specialized plate. You can't feel an x-ray.

The length of an x-ray procedure depends on the examination being done. A few minutes to an half an hour.

Your child's x-ray

Restraints or other techniques may be used to keep a young child still during an x-ray. These will not harm your child. They will prevent the need for a repeat procedure, which may be necessary if your child moves during the x-ray exposure.

You may be allowed to stay with your child during the test. If you do, you will likely be asked to wear a lead apron to shield you from unnecessary exposure.

After the x-ray

After an x-ray, you generally can resume normal activities. Routine x-rays usually have no side effects.


With the new advances in equipment at WCCHC your images can be sent to a Radiologist instantly for review. Your physician will receive the results within 24 hours. Depending on your results, additional tests may be ordered to develop an accurate diagnosis.

Where to Check In

Waianae (Main Campus) – 86-260 Farrington Hwy
Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Adult Medicine Building (Monday and Tuesday from 8 am to 4 pm only)
Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Emergency Medicine Building
1st Floor, Imaging Department

Our Imaging Department offers x-rays for Outpatients Monday - Saturday from 6:30am to 6:00pm. The department remains open 24 hours to provide imaging services to patients visiting the Health Center's 24-hour emergency department. An order is needed from your provider. No appointment is necessary.

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