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Your Visit to Diagnostic Imaging


Plain X-rays take place on a walk-in basis, not scheduled in advance. Patients may visit Monroe Carell Diagnostic Imaging (Radiology) to the right of the grand staircase on the first floor, seven days a week, 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. Bring a doctor's written exam request with you. 

For a scheduled exam, your physician’s office should call the scheduling office at (615) 343-1842, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Have your request form faxed to (615) 343-1841 immediately after scheduling. The request must be at Diagnostic Imaging check-in before the scheduled procedure can be performed.

We must have a physician-signed requisition prior to performing any procedure. This form should be typed or printed clearly to ensure patient safety and accuracy. We encourage your clinic to provide you with a copy of all requests so you can bring them to the exam.

We will attempt to schedule the date and time on your request form. Based on patient priority, dates and times are not guaranteed. After faxing the requested date and time, a scheduler will fax it back to the number provided to confirm receipt, along with the scheduled date and time. If you do not receive a confirmation, call us to ensure we received the request.

Should you need to cancel, confirm, or reschedule your appointment, call (615) 343-1842, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call if you are running late. Every effort will be made to keep your appointment on the same day, but it rescheduling may be necessary. If you are late for your appointment, we must take other scheduled patients first.

Depending on the type of exam and its necessity, the radiologist may interpret the exam while you wait. The radiologist will then communicate results to the requesting physician, who will then provide your results by phone. We will provide you with a phone number to contact in case of concern.

Direct general questions regarding Pediatric Radiology to (615) 875-READ (7323). Your call may then be transferred to the appropriate staff for further assistance. In general, you should call your primary care provider for test results and for any further information.

Procedure hours

We perform routine outpatient pediatric procedures seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. We schedule fluoroscopy, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine procedures and interventional procedures Monday through Friday. We perform emergency procedures as needed 24 hours a day.

Radiologist availability

Our pediatric radiologists are available in the hospital 7 a.m. through 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. A pediatric radiologist is on call 24 hours a day, every day. A diagnostic radiologist is on site 24 hours a day.

Preparing your child for diagnostic imaging


Although you cannot explain the examination to an infant, you can help your baby feel more secure during the test by providing a reassuring object such as a pacifier or a favorite stuffed toy or blanket. Please bring a bottle of juice or formula to feed your baby after the examination.

Toddlers and preschool-age children

Young children have a short attention span, so the best time to talk about the examination with them is shortly before you leave for the hospital. Tell your child you are going "to get some pictures taken so the doctor knows how to help you."

Use simple non-threatening words. It is important to be honest with your child. Read the descriptions of procedures on our website. If your child's procedure will be uncomfortable, be sure to explain it is okay to cry.

Because children in this age group are afraid of being separated from their parents, reassure them that mommy or daddy will stay with them as much as possible. If they need the sedation team or anesthesia, you may be asked to wait in the nearby waiting room.

Bring your child's favorite toy, book, or blanket.

School-age children

School-age children have active imaginations. If you don’t provide them accurate information about what will happen during the examination, they may frighten themselves by imagining something far worse.

The day before the examination, tell your child that pictures will be taken of the inside of his/her body. Tell them that the pictures will help the doctor decide how to make him/her better.

Talk about the examination the child will have. Use simple words. Be honest. Tell the child exactly what will happen. Read the descriptions of procedures on our website. If your child's procedure will be uncomfortable, be sure to tell him/her it is okay to cry. You might also talk about where you will go or what you will do when you leave the hospital after the test.

When you come to the hospital, bring a favorite book, toy, or game. If you wish, you may also bring a snack for after the exam.

Eating and drinking

We recommend you discuss the examination with your doctor, who may advise you of any special preparations before the test. For example, you may be asked not to feed or give liquids to your child for several hours before the examination.

Call us at (615) 343-1842 if you have any questions about special preparations. If your child will need to be sedated for their procedure (given medication to relax them or put them to sleep), you can learn more about our Sedation Services.

Protecting your child

We take great care to minimize your child's exposure to radiation. When practical, we provide exams that do not use X-rays. If we need to use X-rays, we will protect your child by using the least amount of exposure and covering the child's chest, ovaries or testicles when appropriate.

It is important that your child listen and cooperate to minimize the need for repeat X-rays. We always explain the examination to your child and emphasize the need to remain still. We can sometimes distract children with TV, video and music.

We encourage parents to stay with their child during the exam. However, there may be time when you must wait in a nearby waiting room. If you remain in the X-ray room, you must wear a lead apron. Pregnant women are not allowed in the X-ray room during exams. If you are pregnant or think you might be, please tell the technologist. Also, children other than the patient will not be allowed in the X-ray room.

Common questions about diagnostic imaging

Can I attend the procedure if I'm pregnant?

Pregnant women are not allowed in the following exam rooms during X-rays, fluoroscopy, CT, nuclear medicine, or interventional radiology. Pregnant family members are also not allowed in the MRI room during exams.

Pregnant family members are allowed to accompany the patient during ultrasound examinations.

How many visitors can be with my child during an exam?

At most, two people (at least 18 years old) are typically allowed to accompany a patient into an exam room. The attending doctor may reduce that number for safety reasons. We do not provide childcare for siblings during your visit.

Is there anything I cannot bring into the exam room?

You must remove metal objects attracted to the MRI magnet if you are going with your child into the MRI exam room. You may also have to remove any metals that are even questionable, such as rings, earrings, watches, belt buckles, billfolds, and body piercings.

Removing metal items will delay your child's exam. It is best to remove all metals before coming to the Diagnostic Imaging Department. We are not responsible for any missing jewelry or personal items.

What if I arrive late for a scheduled appointment?

You may have to reschedule your appointment if you arrive late. We try to work everyone into our schedule, especially parents and patients willing to wait, but we cannot guarantee an exam that same day.

What if Diagnostic Imaging is running late?

We make every effort to see your child at their scheduled time. Exam delays can occur because of emergency cases, very sick children needing extra time for their exams, or unexpected equipment issues. Your child's safety and the wellbeing of others are our top priorities. We will keep you informed about possible delays and see you as quickly as possible.

What fasting guidelines should we follow if my child is to be sedated before an exam?

  • No solid foods for 8 hours before the procedure.
  • No formula for 6 hours before the procedure.
  • No breast milk for 4 hours before the procedure.
  • No clear fluids for 2 hours before the procedure.
  • Your child may take his or her regular medication with sips of water up to 2 hours before the procedure.

Note: If these guidelines are not followed, the procedure will be rescheduled.

My child is sick the day before or the day of the procedure. Who should I contact?

Call our scheduling line at (615) 343-1842. It is important to call if your child has a cough, congestion, or other respiratory symptoms.

What if I am not the parent of this child, but I have custodial rights?

You must bring legal proof of your custodial rights or the procedure will be rescheduled.

My child has a medical device implant from a previous surgery. Who needs to be told? 

If your child has medical implants, such as metal screws, rods, pumps, pacemaker, nerve stimulator, or metal left in the body from an injury, you should tell the doctor or nurse who is scheduling your exam. Also tell us about implants or metal on the screening form you complete before the exam. For added safety, tell the technologist before the exam takes place. If you were given an ID Card noting your child's implant, bring that card with you to the exam.

Is there a number I can call with questions?

Call (615) 343-1842, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.