OSF Holy Family Medical Center

Monmouth, Illinois


X-ray, or radiography, is the oldest and most common form of medical imaging. Images are produced by using small amounts of ionizing radiation. Modern x-ray technology is done with digital computerized equipment.

With modern technology our patients are exposed to less radiation. You cannot feel the X-ray go through you. X-ray beams pass through your body, and they are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through.

Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays. The air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle appear as shades of gray.

What to Expect

  • You may be asked to wear a hospital gown.
  • The technologist will ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds and hold very still for certain exams.
  • Most x-rays do not require preparation ahead of time, but some will require a pregnancy test. 
  • Certain x-ray exams may require not eating or drinking or the use of contrast agents; which can be swallowed, injected or administered via enema.
  • Your x-ray may last between 10-30 minutes depending on the type.


Our radiologist, who is a specialist in interpreting diagnostic exams, will report the results to your doctor.

Your health care provider will receive the result into your medical record within a couple of days.

Appointment Information

If you and your healthcare provider feel that using X-ray would provide important information for your continued care, the provider will order the test either through the electronic medical record or with a paper order. 

The Central Scheduling Department staff will call you to schedule the X-Ray or you can call them at (309) 734-1446 if your health care provider instructs you to do so. 

Hours of operation for the department vary for different tests but are generally Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Please call the Diagnostic Imaging Department at (309) 734-1407 if you have any questions.