Radiograph: an X-ray film containing an image of an anatomical structure.
A radiographic examination involves everything you do so as to produce the
desired end-product--a diagnostic radiograph. This includes positioning the anatomical
structure, making the exposure, having the film processed, etc.
radiographic exam: encompasses positioning the body part, exposing the film, and
processing the film.
The anatomic position is a well established point of reference for describing the
relationship of one body part to another. In the anatomic position, the patient is upright,
facing straight ahead, body erect, feet together, arms at sides, and palms turned
forward (figure 3-1). No matter what the actual position of the patient, such as
figure 3-2, one must think in terms of the person standing erect in the anatomic position even
when describing parts of a patient who is lying down. If you fail to think in terms of the
anatomic position, you may incorrectly describe or label a radiograph. Consider
figure 3-3, a posteroanterior (PA) chest in which both lungs are demonstrated. Because it is a
PA projection, the right side is on the right side of the film. Thinking in terms of the
anatomical position will orient you correctly. In an AP position, the right lung would be
demonstrated on the left side of the film (figure 3-4). Thinking in terms of the anatomic
position is especially important for properly placing the patient for positions involving the
extremities, such as the foot or hand. Suppose you want to take a lateral view of the
foot (figure 3-5). To do this, you must first determine which side to place closest to the
film. For a lateral foot, the side to be placed closest to the film would correspond with
the fifth digit of the foot, not the big toe.