The Magic of Imaging

August 13, 2018

Ever wondered how the exerts in our Radiology Department can give you such detailed, accurate results from an X-ray, CT scan and other imaging tests? Culbertson Imaging Manager Christy Sims gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the imaging process to help you understand what happens when you come in for a test — and what comes next.

How do I get an imaging exam?

If you’re having an exam, such as an X-ray, CT scan or ultrasound, your doctor will schedule an appointment for you. Your exam will be sent digitally for interpretation by Clinical Radiologists in Springfield, one of the country’s leading radiology groups with more than 70 radiologists covering all subspecialties. “That helps ensure maximum accuracy, and you can be confident your exam is read by specialist who focus on that type of physiology every day, from pediatrics to neuroradiology to mammography,” said Sims. Typically, your exam’s interpretation is complete and your doctor has a report and results within 12 hours.

What if I need an emergency imaging exam?

If you come into the emergency room, your exam also goes to Clinical Radiologists for interpretation, but with a STAT tag. Radiologists will read and return a report within 30 minutes. STAT stroke patients — patients showing symptoms of a stroke — receive even more priority, with results back in less than 15 minutes.

If you’re a patient at Culbertson, your doctor will order the exam. Your results will typically be in your doctor’s hands within two hours, depending on your condition and the type of test your doctor ordered.

How long does it take to get mammography results?

Patients who arrive for a diagnostic (symptomatic) mammogram and/or breast ultrasound can be assured they will be given their results before leaving the Imaging Department that day. The mammography technologist is in direct contact with the radiologist in Springfield during your exam. The radiologists who is viewing and interpreting your breast images has had extensive training in breast imaging. “We feel so fortunate to have this capability for our patients. As you know, it can be very scary and stressful for women experiencing symptoms to come in for breast imaging,” said Sims.

The imaging department also performs screening mammograms, which are often read and reported to your doctor within 24 hours. Patients receive a letter of their results from the Imaging Department. If you would like to schedule a mammogram, please call 217-322-4321, ext. 5279. A physician’s order is required.

When are imaging exams available?

Whatever test you need, Culbertson Memorial Hospital and our partners at Clinical Radiologists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re focused on providing the highest level of care and comfort for you. If you have any questions before your test, our Imaging Department encourages you to ask by calling 217-322-4321, ext. 5279.