Northwest Florida Community Hospital
"I don't believe I could have had better care anywhere"
NFCH Inpatient

CT Scan Patient Information


Your understanding of the tests and treatments you receive is very important to everyone at Northwest Florida Community Hospital. Therefore, this information sheet is meant to acquaint you with standard procedures followed in a routine CT scan. This document provides you with the basic facts and information about this test. Read the material, share it with your family, and ask any clarifying questions of the technologist.

Please bring a list of present medications you are taking. Be preparded to give the technologist a brief medical history including any past surgeries.

A Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) scan is a test in which horizontal sections of a body part are examined at various angles with an x-ray beam. A computer calculates the absorption of the x-ray beams, and these calculations are converted into an image on a computer screen.  A CT scan is valuable in diagnosing conditions not visible on conventional x-rays and may make other procedures such as exploratory surgery unnecessary.

Please follow the prep information carefully as it will allow you and your physician to obtain the best possible exam. If your exam is not listed below, then it may not have a specific prep to follow.

CT Pelvis Routine 

Both CT Abdomen and Pelvis at the same time

CT Abdomen/Pelvis for Bowel Obstruction

CT Abdomen Routine

The following exams also have intravenous contrast that will be administered during your CT exam:

CT Head with and without contrast
CT Abdomen – Aneurysm
CT Abdomen – Routine
CT Abdomen – Bowel Obstruction
CT Chest – Mass
CT Chest – PE study
CT Chest – Aneurysm
CT Chest – Dissection
CT Pelvis – Routine
CT Neck

Procedure for all CT exams:

  1. Arrive at Northwest Florida Community Hospital’s Patient Registration Department 15 minutes before your procedure appointment.
  2. You will be taken to the x-ray department by wheelchair or by walking there on your own.
  3. The technologist will help you position yourself on the CT table. He/She will
    also explain the procedure in more detail. If you are having a CT scan of your head, your head will be positioned in a special cradle to assist you in keeping your head still for the scan.
  4. If you have an injection of the contrast media, you may experience a warm sensation throughout your body. This will not be long lasting and usually is not very uncomfortable. If you develop any shortness of breath or itching, notify the technologist immediately.
  5. During the actual scanning process, you will be alone in the room but there is
    an intercom, which allows you to communicate with the technologist at all times.
  6. The table moves slightly with each scan. Simply relax and lie still. You may be asked to periodically hold your breath during various phases of the scan.
  7. As the equipment scans, you may hear the sounds of gears and motors. These are normal sounds that the machine makes while operating.
  8. Following the procedure, you will be free to leave the facility and resume normal activity. The radiologist will examine your CT scans and report the findings to your doctor who will then discuss them with you.

Your comfort during this procedure is very important to the staff at Northwest Florida Community Hospital. Please let the technologist know if there is something that can be done to make you more comfortable during this procedure. If you have other questions not answered on this sheet, please don’t hesitate to call the Imaging Services Department at (850) 415-8131. Thank you for allowing us to service your healthcare needs.