Diagnostic Imaging

The first step in addressing a medical problem-whether it's a blocked artery, a tumor, or broken bone-is to find its precise location within the body, accurately measure it, and provide a "roadmap" that guides physicians during treatment. The staff of Humboldt General Hospital's Diagnostic Imaging Department, including physician-radiologists and radiologic technologists, is available 24/7 to help doctors make the right diagnosis. Whether it's 1 a.m. and a patient needs an emergency MRI or it's 4 p.m. and a high school student needs his shoulder x-rayed following batting practice, HGH has the equipment and the expertise to get the job done.

Our Promise to the Community

Humboldt General Hospital's Diagnostic Imaging Department has made a three-pronged promise to the community to offer superior patient care through Clinical Excellence, Premium Customer Service and Advanced Technology.

Clinical Excellence. Every member of Humboldt General Hospital's Diagnostic Imaging team has achieved her registry through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and their Nevada State License. A person is certified by the ARRT after meeting educational preparation standards, complying with ethics standards, and passing a comprehensive exam. Additionally, numerous staff members have achieved national registry in their individual modalities including mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and Computed Tomography (CT).

Premium Customer Service. The Diagnostic Imaging Department has extended its hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. A technologist also is on staff until 11 p.m. each night to answer calls to the Emergency Department, and staff members remain on-call throughout the night. The department's premium customer service also includes appointment reminders, regular distribution of customer service surveys, and a concerted effort to streamline access to the department's 10 modalities including MRI, CT Scan, X-Ray, Vascular Ultrasound, Obstetrical Ultrasound, Cardiac Ultrasound, Mammography, Bone Densitometry, Fluoroscopy, and Nuclear Medicine.

Advanced Technology. Humboldt General Hospital administration and board of trustees have joined with the Diagnostic Imaging Department to support bringing the latest technology and diagnostic capabilities to Humboldt County. All of the department's modalities are upgraded and/or replaced on a regular basis.

Our Imaging Services

Bone Densitometry. Every day, physicians use radiography, or x-rays, to view and evaluate bone fractures and other injuries of the musculoskeletal system. However, a plain x-ray test is not the best way to assess bone density. To detect osteoporosis accurately, doctors use an enhanced form of x-ray technology called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). DXA bone densitometry is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). DXA is also a quick, painless way to measure body composition. In just about six minutes, patients can know their total fat versus muscle and their true bodyweight. Call for more information or to schedule an appointment for a body composition scan. No physician order is needed.

Cardiac Ultrasound. Cardiac Ultrasound, or echocardiogram, is a non-invasive ultrasound imaging procedure used to assess cardiac function. Echocardiography allows doctors to visualize the anatomy, structure, and function of the heart. The echocardiogram can show all four chambers of the heart, the heart valves, the blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, and the sack around the heart. It can lead to a quick diagnosis of heart valve problems or abnormal flow within the heart-all without the use of dyes, radiation or exploratory surgery.

CT or CAT Scan. A CAT Scan, or Computerized Axial Tomography, uses X-rays and computers to produce images of the soft tissue within the body, including the brain. These images are used to look for signs of disease or trauma in the body.

Fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures - similar to an x-ray "movie." A continuous x-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined, and is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail. Fluoroscopy, as an imaging tool, enables physicians to look at many body systems, including the skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems. A mobile fluoroscopy C-Arm also may be used in the operating room so that doctors may monitor patients more closely as they perform certain surgical procedures.

MRI. An MRI, or magnetic resonance image, produces very clear images of the body without X-rays. Instead, MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images.

Mammography. A mammogram is an X-ray image of the breast, used to check for tumors or other abnormalities. Mammography may also be performed on healthy, normal breasts to provide a baseline reference for later comparison.

Nuclear Medicine. Nuclear Medicine is used to assess bone, thyroid, gastrointestinal, cardiac, renal (kidney), and other systems, and is very helpful in detecting infections. Nuclear medicine is commonly used during stress tests for coronary artery disease. A radioactive material is injected into the patient's vein so that an image of the heart becomes visible with a special camera. Nuclear images are taken while the patient is at rest, and again immediately following exercise. The two sets of images are then compared. During exercise, if a blockage in a coronary artery causes decreased blood flow to part of the cardiac muscle, this region of the heart will appear as a relative "cold spot" on the nuclear scan.

OB Ultrasound. OB Ultrasound, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images of internal organs by sending high-frequency sound waves into the body. The sound wave echoes, which have a frequency higher than people can hear, are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. Obstetric ultrasound refers to the specialized use of sound waves to visualize and thus determine the condition of a pregnant woman and her embryo or fetus.

Vascular Ultrasound. Vascular Ultrasound or sonography involves the sending of sound waves through the body. Those sound waves are reflected off the internal organs. The reflections are then interpreted by special instruments that subsequently create an image of anatomic parts. Ultrasound imaging of the body's veins and arteries can help the radiologist see and evaluate blockages to blood flow, such as clots in veins and plaque in arteries. With knowledge about the arterial blood flow gained from an ultrasound image, the radiologist can often determine whether a patient is a good candidate for a procedure like angioplasty.

X-ray. X-ray is the "granddaddy" of imaging tools. First used in the late 1800s, X-rays continue to play a prominent role in medical diagnosis. An X-ray is a high-energy beam used in low doses to diagnose a variety of conditions ranging from broken bones to abnormal tissue growth such as tumors. X-rays are also used in high doses to treat tumors.

Radiology Information

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; weekend studies by appointment only, with the exception of X-ray.

To schedule a Radiology exam, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1130.