What Is A Chaperone?


  • A chaperone is the third person accompanying you during an X-ray examination. It is beneficial to you and the radiographer performing the examination. (1)
  • The chaperone shall be an adult preferably of the same sex as you.
  • Chaperones shall be allowed for certain types of examination only.

When Can I Be Accompanied?

  • A person accompanying you is necessary for ‘intimate’ examinations’. Intimate examinations involve examination of private body parts which may need to be touched by the radiographer such the breasts, male and female genitalia or anus (2).
  • In radiography examinations involving body parts such as the chest (female), area of the waist and from the thigh upwards may cause the patients to be uncomfortable and stressed. This is also categorized as ‘intimate examination’.
  • Examples of intimate examinations in an imaging department are:

– Trans-vaginal, trans-anal and trans-rectal ultrasound

– Ultrasound of the scrotum and penis

– Ultrasound of the breasts

– Endo-rectal MRI

– Echocardiography

  • Not all examinations require a chaperone especially when the examinations are performed by a team and in special procedures such as fluoroscopy and angiography.

Can I Be Accompanied During The Examination?

  • The radiographer will normally ask you if you need a person accompanying you.
  • You have a choice of chaperone. Preferably, the chaperone chosen should meet the set criteria.  
  • Sometimes you may decide not to have a person accompanying you because you trust the radiographer or you need privacy.
  • The radiographer may need to decide whether to proceed without a chaperone so as to avoid any untoward incidents from happening.
  • You also have the right to be given clear information about the examination and why the examination needs to be performed.

Who Can Be A Chaperone?

  • Adult family members.
  • Accompanying female staff not from the imaging department.
  • Female staff from the imaging department.
  • If there is no suitable chaperone available, the radiographer will discuss with the requesting doctor for further action.

The Role Of A Chaperone [4]:

  • Ensure you are emotionally stable.
  • Assist the radiographer during the examination.
  • As a witness if there is any complaint.
  • You are not encouraged to remain with the patient during X-ray exposure. However, if the need arises you will be given radiation protective apparel.

Situations When A Chaperone Needs To Be Present During The Examination

  • Male radiographer with a female patient
  • For children [5]

– They should be accompanied by an adult family member as a chaperone.

– Any instruction necessary will be conveyed through the chaperone and if consent is required the chaperone will need to make the decision.

  • Disabled patient with special needs [5]

– Patients with mental, emotional or physical disability are encouraged to have a chaperone as a mediator.

– The chaperone should preferably be an adult family member.

– This is important to avoid misunderstanding especially when there is a difficulty in communication.



  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaperone_(clinical)
  2. Chaperones : protecting the patient or protecting the doctor?, Karen E. Rogstad, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK, CSIRO Publishing and MINNIS Communications, April 2007, www.publish.csiro.au/journals
  3. http://www.rcr.ac.uk/publications, The Royal College of Radiologists, Publications and guidance
  4. Chaperoning Guidelines for Clinical Staff, Diane Lashbrook, Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, August 2013
  5. www.csp.org.uk, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Chaperoning and related issues,2013


Last Reviewed : 2 June 2016
Translator : Daud bin Ismail
Accreditor : Jasintha S. Sangarapillai