Four Common Diagnostic Imaging Tests

Diagnostic imaging technicians have challenging jobs. This may be one of the reasons there is a shortage of staff across the country for these positions. So what can you anticipate doing daily as a diagnostic imaging technician with appropriate training? Our experts on diagnostic specialty kits offer these four standard procedures you’ll help with as a diagnostic imaging professional.

PET scans

A PET scan, technically known as a positron emission tomography scan, detects disease in the body, revealing issues occurring at the cellular level. The process involves presenting radioactive tracers in the body. With a PET scanner, the tracers discover concerns that otherwise could stay hidden until they deepen.

Depending on the process, tracers are introduced in one of three methods: Injection into a vein, inhalation of gas, or consuming a unique mixture. Tracers take time to journey within the human body, so there is nearly an hour delay before the scan can occur. When the time comes, the patient lies on a table that passes through an O-shaped apparatus. The technologist guides the patient on when to be still and when to hold their breath.


While other examinations are equivalent to still photography, fluoroscopy is similar to a motion picture of physical functions because fluoroscopy displays moving body parts. The procedure is usually completed with contrast dyes that reveal how they flow through the body. While all this is accomplished, an X-ray beam transmits signals to a monitor. Fluoroscopies evaluate hard and soft tissue, including joints, bones, vessels, and organs. In addition, blood flow examinations frequently involve fluoroscopy.

The technologist begins by positioning the patient on an exam table. Unlike most other diagnostic exams where the patient needs to be motionless, the technologist might ask the individual to move during the fluoroscopy to see how the body reacts to motion. Fluoroscopy alone is not painful, but introducing contrast dyes to the body can be, so technologists might need to present comfort treatments.


Periodically called sonograms, an ultrasound captures pictures from within the body using high-frequency sound waves. They often detect problems with soft tissues like organs and blood vessels. Because it employs no radiation, ultrasounds are the preferred way to examine expectant mothers.

Readying for an ultrasound depends on what will be examined. First, patients need to fast for examinations anywhere near the stomach but are permitted to drink water. Next, patients lay down on an examination table, and a lubricant is spread on the skin. Next, a transducer device sends high-frequency sound surges into the body as it glides across the skin. These sound waves produce an image of what is occurring inside the body.


Two kinds of mammograms are delivered in the fight against breast cancer: screening and diagnostic mammograms. Screening mammograms are employed first to detect any irregularities. Diagnostic mammograms inspect for malignancy after a lump or thickening of the breast has been witnessed. Early detection of cancer is critical in the battle against breast cancer.

Technologists will employ different best practices counting on whether a screening or diagnostic exam is completed. For example, screening exams generally involve a couple of pictures of each breast. But diagnostic exams are more comprehensive, with the technologist capturing more images from numerous angles. Magnified photos are also gathered so that doctors can scrutinize suspicious sites.

The diagnostic imaging specialization is waiting for the next surge of radiologic technologists. Promising news—you don’t require X-ray vision to witness its promise as a profession with a bright future. The advantages are clear. Contact us today if your clinic or lab needs diagnostic specialty kits. We are here to help you source exactly what you need.