Diagnostic Imaging Services
We perform more than 190,000 imaging procedures each year for the only Level II Trauma center between Seattle and Bellingham and the only neonatal ICU north of Seattle. All of our imaging technologists are nationally certified within their specialties and perform 24 hours of continuing education every two years. This ensures we stay on top of technological updates and advances.
Additionally, all of our imaging departments are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in recognition of their demonstration of and commitment to quality diagnostic imaging. Each of the imaging modalities goes through a rigorous testing process every three years to validate this commitment and renew their accreditation. Along with that, we complete daily and monthly checks to ensure compliance with our quality standards. The ACR is the “Gold Standard” for quality in the imaging world.
We offer six distinct suites with more than 30 imaging rooms for CT scans, specialty cardiac CT imaging, low-dose lung cancer screening exams, MRIs, X-rays, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine, SPECT/CT nuclear medicine and non-invasive cardiopulmonary imaging. All are designed with your comfort, convenience and privacy in mind.
We also have additional imaging equipment in the Emergency Department. That prevents you from having to be moved to a different floor of the hospital for an X-ray, CT scan or ultrasound.
- Cardiac stress testing — A stress test shows how well your heart functions when it’s working hard. While you walk on a treadmill (or take a special drug if exercise is not possible for you), a doctor monitors your heart’s electrical activity along with your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. The test helps us see whether your heart is getting enough blood.
- Cardiac ultrasound echocardiogram — An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart to show us how your heart is pumping.
- Electrocardiogram — Also known as an ECG or EKG, this test shows your heart’s electrical activity. It can alert doctors to heart problems.
- Neurodiagnostics electroencephalography — This is a test that helps identify areas of your brain linked to epileptic seizures.
- Pulmonary function testing — This test tells us how well your lungs are working by measuring oxygen volume and flow and how well oxygen diffuses into your blood.
We have five CT scanners — three in the main CT department and two in the Emergency Department. CT scans are most often used for your head, chest, abdomen, spine and pelvis.
Our newest Siemens scanner has premier cardiac scanning capabilities. Our Cardiac CT program provides the ability to do coronary artery angiogram CTs along with Cardiac TAVR CTs. We also provide low radiation dose lung cancer screening CTs.
We perform more than 120 CT scans every day of the year. Our technologists are experts at providing our patients compassionate care with the highest exam quality and lowest possible radiation dose.
Mammography is a special type of X-ray of your breast. It’s a valuable tool in the fight against breast cancer and can show suspicious areas before you ever have symptoms.
All of our technologists are board certified in MRI examinations by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. With special services for people who are claustrophobic and those whose body may require more space, we pride ourselves on being able to provide services to a wider range of patients than any other imaging center in western Washington. We also are one of the few locations in the area that can scan most implanted cardiac devices including pacemakers and defibrillators.
Our dynamic MRI department performs more than 12,000 diagnostic exams each year. In addition, we also provide MRI-guided breast biopsy services in conjunction with the Providence Women’s Imaging Center.
Providence Regional is known for its award-winning cardiac care. Part of that care is offered through our nuclear cardiology lab, which is among the busiest in the region. We perform more than 3,500 stress tests each year using safe, radioactive materials that allow us to image your heart.
Nuclear medicine uses state-of-the-art imaging devices called gamma cameras. These machines produce no radiation. Instead they pick up the radiation that is being emitted from the radioactive material given to you via an IV. Unlike other imaging procedures such as ultrasound or MRI that looks for an image of the organ, nuclear medicine looks specifically at how the organ functions in your body.
All of our nuclear medicine technologists are board certified with the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. We also operate under the direction of a board-certified Nuclear Medicine physician who was named one of Seattle’s top doctors in 2019.
Our radiology suite is where we perform X-rays and fluoroscopy. Our technology allows us to produce X-rays within seconds. Fluoroscopy shows a continuous X-ray image, like an X-ray movie.
Our expert technologists perform more than 84,000 X-ray exams each year and are committed to providing you compassionate care with the highest exam quality and lowest possible radiation dose. We track your lifetime radiation exposure and minimize the amount you receive.
We are accredited by the Joint Review Commission on Radiologic Technology as an educational clinic site for radiologic technology students from Pima Medical Institute and Bellingham Technical College.
We have 12 imaging rooms for ultrasound. This test uses sound waves that bounce off your body. A computer transforms the waves into images. Ultrasound is often used to examine soft tissues and babies developing in the womb.
Some ultrasounds require special preparation. Others don’t. If you need to follow special instructions before your procedure, we provide them at the time of scheduling.
For the safety and privacy of our physicians, technologists and other patients, we ask that you not take pictures or use any recording, streaming, or image capture service or app during your exam. (This includes Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Live, TikTok and others.)
If you’re having an obstetrics exam and are interested, speak with your technologist about recording a heartbeat or movement after the technical component of your exam is complete.
Interventional Radiology uses imaging to perform minimally invasive procedures that allow us to diagnose and treat many health problems. It allows us to do many things that would have required surgery in the past.
During an angiogram, for example, doctors inject a special dye that travels into the vessels of your heart. They watch how the dye moves through the vessels to see if you have a blockage.
If you do have a blockage, for example, your doctor may perform angioplasty to eliminate it. Watching your heart on a monitor, your doctor will thread a tiny tube called a catheter through your blood vessels to the area of the blockage. The doctor will then blow up a small balloon on the tip of the catheter to widen the blood vessel. Interventional radiology treatment procedures generally have less pain, risk and recovery time than traditional open surgery.
We perform many interventional radiology procedures at Providence, including:
- Delivery of heat, cold or medication directly to tumors
- Drainage procedures to relieve pressure in your liver or kidney
- Medication injection to spinal nerves for pain relief
- Needle biopsies
- Placement of feeding tubes
- Removal of infected fluid from an abscess
- Repair of spinal fractures
When you arrive, your technologist will greet you for your exam and explain your test in detail once you and your family are in our secure area. You’ll have the opportunity to any ask questions at this time. Based on your scheduled exam, your guests may be escorted to a comfortable waiting area while the technical portion of your exam is completed. If possible and desired, we bring them back to you as we complete the test.
We always do our best to make you comfortable during your procedure, but we cannot always promise that will be possible. Some of our imaging equipment may cause slight discomfort due to table design, noise or required position. For an MRI, we provide headphones to allow you to communicate with our imaging team, listen to music and protect your ears from the noise of the machine. We can also provide earplugs.
Clothing manufacturers are using copper and other metallic fibers in the actual material of most athletic clothing and yoga pants. These fibers will show up on imaging exams and can pose a safety hazard. This is why we ask that you be prepared to change based on the exam you’re having.
When will I get my results?
Our radiologists will read your exam and send the results to your physician usually within 48 to 72 hours.
Can I have my family with me during the exam?
For some of our imaging exams it’s not possible to have family members accompany you during your scan. If you bring children or others who need assistance to your appointment, we ask that you make sure you have an additional responsible person with them.
I’m having an ultrasound of my baby — can I have people with me?
Babies are exciting, and we encourage you to share this moment with your family. However, be aware that each exam has technical requirements that must be met first and foremost in order to ensure your exam is of the highest quality. We ask that any guests who may need additional supervision wait outside the exam room with another responsible person. We will invite them back to share the joy of your new family member as soon as possible.
Can I take photos during my exam?
We understand that exams may be interesting or that you would like to save the memory. But for the safety and privacy of our physicians, technologists and other patients, we ask that you not take pictures or use any recording, streaming, or image capture service or app during your exam. (This includes Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Live, TikTok and others.)
Your health and safety is our primary concern. For added protection, you may wish to keep records of when you received medical imaging and what kind you received. You may even want to ask your doctor about your radiation dose. If you see a different doctor or health care provider in the future, sharing this information may be helpful.