Radiation Considerations

Questions for Caregivers Before an Appointment

If you are assisting a friend or loved one who has physical or other challenges through the medical diagnostic imaging process, here are some guidelines to follow and points to consider before you go to your appointment:

  1. Is the imaging facility designed to accommodate special needs patients? Ask your doctor. If he or she is unsure, contact the center directly for more information.
  2. Can staff at the center assist you if you need help moving an immobile or physically challenged patient into a scanning device?
  3. All scans require the patient to remain still and some require the patient to hold his or her breath or remain in a certain position. Will your friend or loved one be able to comply with the position requirements of the exam? Discuss your unique situation with your doctor or facility to determine what is possible.
  4. If your loved one is obese, will he or she be able to fit inside the CT scanner or MRI?  Some facilities have imaging equipment that will support individuals who are obese.  It is important to ask to avoid arriving for the test and the facility not being able to perform the test.
  5. Will your friend or loved one require sedation or something to help them relax? This should be discussed and determined before the actual appointment.
  6. Will you be able to sit with the patient in the scanning room during the procedure?
  7. Make sure you clearly understand what will happen on the day of the appointment, and explain these steps to the patient so he or she knows what to expect and is prepared for the exam.
  8. Keep in mind that the most important role you have is to help the patient stay calm and still during the scanning process. The best way for you to do this is to remain calm yourself.