Clear and Accurate Imaging at Tenet Health Central Coast

At Tenet Health Central Coast, we offer advanced diagnostic services both in our outpatient imaging centers and within each hospital. Our services are performed by compassionate caregivers in a friendly and comfortable environment. Our focus is on your needs while providing accurate results that will give you the care you need.

To reach out hospitals and outpatient imaging centers, please call:

Twin Cities Community Hospital: (805) 434-4399

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center: (805) 546-7777

Selma Carlson Diagnostic Center: (805) 546-7733

Templeton Imaging: (805) 434-1491

*Please see the individual location pages for services offered at each location here.

At Tenet Health Central Coast, we use advanced technology and up-to-date procedures to provide your doctor with accurate and detailed information. Our imaging centers in San Luis Obispo and Templeton offer diagnostic testing which is an essential starting point in getting an accurate diagnosis.

What Is Diagnostic Imaging?

Diagnostic imaging, simply called imaging, allows doctors to have a look at your body to diagnose your medical condition. It is composed of various equipment and techniques, which shows images and activities within the body. Most of the imaging techniques are painless, but some may feel uncomfortable. A number of imaging techniques involve exposure to radiation while others involve a scope, a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube inserted in your body.

Our diagnostic imaging teams in San Luis Obispo and Templeton consist of the following:

  • Radiologist – a physician who specializes in obtaining and interpreting medical images (X-rays, radiographs, CT and fluoroscopy), radioactive substances (nuclear medicine), sound waves (ultrasound) or magnets (MRI).
  • Diagnostic Medical Physicist – works with the radiologist and other physicians. They develop and direct programs that ensure the procedures are safe, comply with regulatory and accrediting agency requirements and ensure that the images produced are of high quality.
  • Radiology Assistants – are radiographers who are certified that qualifies them to be radiologic extenders. They can perform procedures with the guidance of the radiologist and can also make initial observations of the images, but they cannot draft an official interpretation.
  • Radiology Technologist – works closely with patients and explains procedures, positions patients and adjusts the equipment according to the procedure.
  • Nurse – develops a care plan to help patients understand the procedure as well as help them recover from the procedures.

Diagnostic Imaging Services

Diagnostic imaging services offered at Tenet Health Central Coast include the following:

  • Bone Densitometry – uses low-energy X-rays to scan the lower back, hip or forearm
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan, also known as computerized axial tomography (CAT) – combines X-rays and computer scans to create images of the body
  • Fluoroscopy – shows a continuous X-ray image on a monitor like an “X-ray movie.”
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – Uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer, instead of radiation, to examine blood vessels and see abnormalities
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – provides detailed pictures of the inside of the body using strong magnets and radio waves
  • Digital Mammography – uses X-rays to visualize abnormalities in the breast tissue
  • Nuclear medicine – uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose, evaluate or treat a multitude of diseases, such as heart disease, gastrointestinal/endocrine/ neurological disorders and many types of cancers
  • Ultrasound – uses sound waves to produce images of the body's interior
  • X-ray – uses a small amount of radiation to create images of the bones and organs

Digital Imaging

At Tenet Health Central Coast, we offer advanced digital imaging that has several benefits:

  • Improved imaging: with digital imaging, the magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast of the image helps the radiologist clearly see certain areas
  • Less radiation: the radiation dose can be reduced significantly using the instantaneous, digital process
  • Reduced exam time: digital imaging allows faster and more accurate evaluation with less time spent taking images

Accurate images allow you and your doctors to make informed decisions about your care.

Our teams at the San Luis Obispo and Templeton imaging centers will guide you through the process, but here are some pointers for a well-informed and prepared visit.

  • Tell your doctor your medical history, allergies and all medications (any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements) you take before an imaging exam.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if there is a possibility that you are pregnant.
  • Generally, you can eat or drink as you normally would. But there are some procedures that may require you to eat or drink more than normal or not at all.
  • Remove your jewelry (e.g., earrings and necklaces) or any metal object (e.g., watch, dentures and hearing aids) that might interfere with the magnetic field.
  • Some procedures might require you to wear a hospital gown when you undergo the imaging procedure, but if possible, wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing.
  • If you are having a mammogram or a breast MRI, please avoid using deodorant, lotions or creams on your underarms. These might have metallic components and may affect your images.

After your imaging is completed, your doctor will advise you on the results, discuss further testing or procedures needed and discuss treatment options with you.

Special Considerations for Children

For procedures using radiation, the lowest exposure setting to achieve a good clinical image is used. Imaging procedures for children requiring radiation is used when the medical benefit outweighs the risk, when the imaging technique matches the size of the child and when alternate imaging methods like ultrasound and MRI do not meet the purpose of the exam.

Patient Forms for Selma Carlson Diagnostic Center and Templeton Imaging

For your imaging appointment, you may be asked to fill out one or more of the following forms:

Registration Forms

CT Forms

MRI Forms

Diagnostic Imaging Services

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