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How to Stay Calm During a CT Scan

If anxiety gets the best of you when facing a simple X-ray, this guide will nix those fears and give you the courage to face a CT machine.


  • TIP: Bring a comfort item such as a stuffed toy or blanket for the child to hold.
  • Step 1: Focus on someone or something else such as a favorite place or a loved one. Don't dwell on the possible bad news, but focus on the possible good news when your CT scan is finished.
  • FACT: Wilhelm Roentgen, a German scientist, discovered X-rays in 1895 and later won the first Nobel Price in Physics in 1901 for the discovery.
  • Step 2: Request that a parent, relative, or friend be in the scanning room if a child or young adult is experiencing a CT scan for the first time.
  • TIP: A mild sedative may be given if your anxiety is severe, but it will make you drowsy so arrange for a ride home if needed.
  • Step 3: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes. Leave any jewelry or metal piercings at home as they will show up on the scan and will ruin the results.
  • Step 4: Talk to the doctor about any other medical or personal complications such as pregnancy, medications you are taking, or allergies. The more they know, the smoother the procedure will go.
  • Step 5: Remind yourself that a CT scan is noninvasive and completely painless, and it only uses x-rays to examine body tissue.

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