Preparing For Your Radiology Visit

Knowing what to expect at your child’s radiology appointment can ease concerns and help your visit go more smoothly. Please call us if you have any questions after reading the following information.

Appointment times to meet your needs

Depending on the imaging study your doctor orders, we should be able to accommodate your child within 48 hours or even the same day at either our Philadelphia Campus or King of Prussia Specialty Care Center.

Your child's physician will either schedule the test for you or will give you a prescription for the test so you can schedule it yourself. You may also need a doctor’s referral, depending on your insurance.

The radiology scheduler will ask you several questions, including:

  • Your child's name and address
  • Your home and cell phone numbers
  • Your child’s diagnosis
  • The name of the test or procedure being ordered
  • The name and phone number of the ordering physician
  • Your child’s allergies, if any
  • The type of insurance you have

In addition to our regular weekday schedule, weekend appointments for CT scans and MRI procedures are now available at the Philadelphia Campus. Hours are:

  • MRI: Saturday, 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m., both with and without sedation; Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon, no sedation available
  • CT: Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., no sedation available; Sunday, 8-11 a.m., no sedation available

Many studies can be performed at the Pediatric Imaging Center at our King of Prussia Specialty Care Center, so you may be asked if it is more convenient for you to have your child's test done there.

Your child's prescription and referral may be faxed to 215-590-4543, or you can bring the paperwork with you on the day of your appointment.

What can you expect after you schedule an appointment?

If your child has had imaging exams before, we’ll ask you to send us those images in advance. Sharing your images before your visit (whether it’s your initial consultation or follow-up visit) will ensure you are seeing the most appropriate specialist for your child’s condition. It will also allow our team to begin developing your child’s treatment plan before his appointment. Our pediatric radiologists interpret every scan, providing expertise that will help you and your child’s doctor make the best decisions about care.

Depending on the study, a radiology staff member will call you ahead of time with instructions and information. Please let us know if your child has any internal metal or implanted medical devices. For some tests, we need to take special precautions to make sure that the implant is safe in the radiology area. We may ask you to bring written information regarding the type of metal or device, manufacturer, model number, and the location and date of placement, or you may fax the information to 215-590-4543.

What should you bring on the day of the procedure?

Please bring:

  • Your prescription
  • Referral
  • Insurance card
  • Court-signed guardianship papers, if you are not the biological or adoptive parent
  • The name and phone number of the department you are visiting and the name and phone number of the physician who ordered your child's test
  • Your child's medications
  • A copy of any prior imaging studies your child has had performed at other facilities
  • Your child's favorite pacifier, blanket or comfort item
  • Sippy cup or bottled formula
  • A change of clothes
  • A stroller is helpful for young children and a wheelchair will be provided, as needed, for older children.

Please have your child leave all valuables and jewelry at home. Please remove all of the child's nail polish and dress your child in comfortable, easy-to-remove clothing.

Please let us know if your child uses any monitoring or medical equipment at home. Our Radiology Phone Triage Nurse will tell you what to bring to the hospital so that you will have the necessary equipment available for a safe ride home when you are finished. Call 215-590-0694 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. to reach the Phone Triage Nurse.

If your child will need sedation or general anesthesia, it is best to arrange child care for your other children, or bring a second adult to assist you. We also recommend avoiding public transportation when a child has received sedation or anesthesia, so please try to make arrangements for car transportation if possible.

Learn more about pediatric sedation at CHOP »

How can you to help prepare your child for the visit?

Hospitalization, doctor's appointments, and medical procedures can be very stressful for children. Your child will feel less anxious if you prepare her ahead of time for the things she may experience in the hospital. The best way to prepare your child for this procedure is to be honest and speak in simple words that your child can understand.

The department's dedicated child life specialists are available to answer your questions about how to prepare and support your child during the procedure.

You can also check out these additional resources to help your child prepare:

Find more resources »

What should you do when you arrive?

If your appointment is scheduled at the Main Hospital:

You will receive instructions from your clinical team about where to check in and how far in advance of your appointment to arrive. There are two outpatient radiology locations where you might be asked to check in when you arrive:

  • For MRIs, PET/CT, PET/MR, diagnostic tests (X-rays,), MEG and some Ultrasound exams you will check in at Outpatient Radiology Registration on the second floor of the Buerger Building.
  • All other radiology appointments, including CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology, and fluoroscopy should check in at Outpatient Radiology Registration on the third floor of the Main Building.

During scheduling, please confirm the building your child will have their Ultrasound exam performed since we service patients in both locations.

If your appointment is scheduled at the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia:

Please check in at the main registration desk, located in the main waiting room, 30 to 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs. Find directions to the Imaging Center at King of Prussia.

What if your child is sick on the day of the test or procedure?

Procedures are best performed when your child is in his usual state of health. Please call the Radiology Schedulers at 215-590-7000 if you wish to reschedule the test.

If you need advice about bringing your child into the hospital or rescheduling the test, call the Radiology Phone Triage Nurse at 215-590-0694 Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. You may also call the test area directly and we will ask a Radiology/Sedation Nurse Practitioner to return your call.

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