How much radiation you get from an X-ray is a common question for Rad Techs. The following are answers for patients when they ask how much radiation they get during their x-ray exam.
These answers are a compilation of replies given by licensed technologists from around the United States.
I usually just tell them,”the more you go in the sun the more likely you are to get skin cancer, but some people live on the beach and never get skin cancer. Some people always wear sunscreen and do get skin cancer.
It’s the exact same thing with x-rays the more exposure you receive the more likely you are to get cancer. However there is no guarantee you will get cancer.
I remind them that radiation is a useful tool , in fact sometimes it can be used to cure cancer. Your doctor has ordered this X-ray because he or she believes the benefits far outweigh any risk you may receive.
We follow the principles of ALARA and do everything we can to limit your exposure in every exam. X-rays are not scary. A chest X-ray is about the same amount of radiation as being in the sun for 10 days. “Rad Tech OH
“The doctor that ordered it believes the benefits outweigh the risk.”Rad Tech MCG
“I show them this chart…”Rad Tech MT
” I usually compare it to something else they do. I’ll say something like a CXR is comparable to going cross country on an airplane (this gets some open mouth stares! Lol) or a forearm is comparable to 3 hrs of life. Read these somewhere and they seemed accurate enough to get my point across.”Rad Tech KR
Use a dose equivalent chart. X-ray = *** amount of time in the sun.Rad Tech TS
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