Whether you're looking for an upgrade to your current x-ray room or are starting from scratch, the process can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. This article will walk you through how to create an x-ray room that is functional and meets compliance requirements.
X-ray room size
The first step when building an x-ray room is to make sure the room will have the right dimensions for the equipment that will be used.
Chiropractic facilities tend to utilize a wall stand only, a tube stand, and have an area required for the operator to take the x-rays. The operator area will be a lead-lined area that you stand behind to protect yourself from radiation where you can have the generator, the operator console, and if using a digital x-ray, the computer and monitor as well.
Chiropractic facilities don’t require as much space compared to an urgent care facility, imaging center or hospital as normally these facilities also use a table. When using a table you’ll need more space to place it in the room as well as making sure you have enough room to be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. ADA is a regulation that makes sure you are compliant with being able to give access to those who are disabled. As part of this requirement access ways will need to be at least 36 inches wide for a patient to move in and out in a wheelchair.
In chiropractic facilities, depending on room orientation, walls, and windows, you’ll be looking for at least one wall that will be a minimum length of 11 feet. This is because you need 3 feet minimum for the operator area as well as at least 8 feet of room for the wall stand and tube stand. This much space is required when taking an x-ray at 72 SID.
Larger rooms are better, having more space can provide improved flexibility. In a larger space you may not necessarily put the x-ray machine and control area on one wall, the operator area may be in a different space as well.
Urgent care x-ray rooms will require more space to be able to place a table. A 12 foot by 14 foot room would be a good sized room. We can provide you with an equipment room drawing that outlines all the possible layouts and schematics.
Electrical components of an x-ray room
Once you’ve considered room size, you need to consider the electrical components. The generator you get will depend on the electrical components you need for incoming power. Electricity will come from the main breaker to a disconnect switch inside the x-ray room. This disconnect switch is typically placed close to the operator room in case of emergency to eliminate the power going into the x-ray generator.
There are lots of different generators from 30kw - 60kw+, however it is important to note that having more power puts more demand on the electrical current. Traditional chiropractic rooms or even urgent care facilities should have 100 amps dedicated to that room.
Reach out to us for schematics about the exact electrical requirements for your generator.
There is another type of generator, called the stored energy generator, if you don’t have the right electrical levels in your facility for a traditional generator. The stored energy generator works on a standard 110 outlet with 20 amps dedicated to that room. It doesn’t require a lot of power and doesn’t require you to upgrade your panel. The stored energy generator has minimal requirements from an electrical standpoint, and should be considered when building out your x-ray room.
Lead requirements of an x-ray room
When we provide you with an equipment room drawing we try to minimize the lead requirements. For example, if your x-ray is shooting to an external brick wall it may not require lead. Similarly, if your x-ray is on a second story and shooting outside and there’s nothing outside within a certain radius to receive radiation we may point it in a certain direction to minimize lead requirements.
Once the equipment room drawing is complete you’ll fill out an intake form which will say how many x-rays you take per day, how you’ll be shooting them e.g. cross table shots. This intake form will then be sent to a physicist. The physicist will provide a very detailed document that provides the exact amount of lead and how thick it’s required to be.
Lead-lining will have varying thicknesses depending on both the material of the existing room and whether it’s an exterior or interior wall. For example, concrete wall outside vs. interior drywall will change how thick the lead will need to be.
Lead lining the operator area
The operator area itself also needs to be lead-lined. There are two options to lead-line an operator area;
- Create a wall and purchase a lead-lined window which will give you the amount of protection required by the physicist to put lead drywall or lead sheets onto the operator area.
- If you want something turn key, at Maven we offer lead-lined manufactured walls and windows. These come in different sizes; from 6 feet or higher to 5 foot wide. This is a great option to minimize construction and building, if you want something prefabricated, and it’s not too different in price if you were to build it yourself.
Once we know how much lead is required, we will get involved with your contractor and electrician to let them know where and how to install the lead shielding in accordance with the physicist report.
Once build out is complete we’ll deliver the equipment to your facility which will come in multiple crates (depending on the size). Our team will then provide installation training, depending on the equipment and the different options you’ve selected will determine how long the install will be. Installs can range from 2 days for chiropractic facilities to 3 days for urgent care. We will then train your staff on how to utilize the system.
If you are considering building an x-ray room for your chiropractic, urgent care or hospital facility, it is important to know how much lead and other requirements will be required. Maven can help specify the exact amount of lead needed by undertaking a thorough equipment room drawing that takes into consideration all factors including shooting direction, window placement and existing materials in the space. Once this information has been collected we’ll provide quotes on what needs to be shipped from our suppliers which includes prefabricated manufactured walls with windows as well as drywall sheets if they are not available locally. We also offer installation training so that staff members may operate the equipment safely once installed according to manufacturer specifications.
For professional help and advice when building your x-ray room contact us today!