Evaluating bone density and finding out the strength of the bones is the only way to detect osteoporosis. DEXA or DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) is the widely used scanning method used in clinics, medical facilities, and hospitals. The need and demand for bone densitometry technicians have increased tenfold in recent years. Today, more and more people are suffering from osteoporosis and other related issues. Technicians trained in bone densitometry initial training can determine the bone health of patients and prepare them with preventive measures against fractures and other challenges due to osteoporosis.
What happens during the scan?
When a potential candidate seeks training in bone densitometry, he/she gets a clear understanding of the ways to use the machine. Furthermore, the technician also learns about the amount of radiation one gets exposed to, the time taken for the test, and other minute details that are otherwise not known by others. The scanning process usually lasts from ten to a maximum of twenty minutes.
One of the highlighting aspects of the DEXA scan is that the whole process is painless. The radiation emitted is also on the lower spectrum compared to other types of scans. The patient must lie on an open X-ray table and stay still as the technician passes the scanner machine over the affected body areas.
Measuring bone density
The scanner machine produces two types of X-ray beams, high energy and low energy. The DEXA scanner measures the amount of X-ray that passes through the bone of a patient from each of the rays, relying on the thickness of the bone. The scanner generates results based on the differences between the two beams, and the trained technician can measure the bone density.
Understanding the scan results
When a potential DEXA scanner technician undertakes professional and certified bone densitometry initial training, he/she will be able to evaluate the T-score of the scan results. The T-score represents average bone density, low bone density, also referred to as osteopenia, and, thirdly, osteoporosis. A trained technician can quickly evaluate
Sometimes, the technician recommends undertaking a second DEXA scan and comparing the outcome with a Z score. The second test helps the trained technician to reach the bone density of the concerned patient to an average score of another individual of the same body size and age.
Types of bone density scans
There are two types of scanning machines that can measure bone density.
- DEXA or DXA evaluates the hip, spine, and total body bone density. Technicians and doctors consider this method reliable and effective in testing bone density.
- QCT, or Quantitative Computed Tomography, is usually used for testing the bone density of the spine and adjacent areas. It is avoided as the process is expensive and emits much radiation.
A trained technician knows the pros and cons of applying both scanners.
Evaluating bone density, especially among senior citizens, is a critical evaluation to diagnose the possibilities of osteoporosis and analyze its severity. Depending on the scan results and analysis from trained technicians, the doctor makes a treatment plan. Thus, there is a huge demand for technicians with bone densitometry initial training.