A James Paget University Hospital employee is to be presented with a national award after scoring top marks in an examination which highlights expertise in the use of X-ray scans to diagnose patients with osteoporosis.
Sue Lowther has won the 2018 Hilary Noakes Award for outstanding achievement, which is presented by the National Osteoporosis Society to the candidate with the highest overall mark in the examination for Certification in Bone Densitometry.
Bone Densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA, uses a very low dose of ionizing radiation to produce images of the spine and hip, to measure bone density. DXA is quick and non-invasive and provides information essential in diagnosing osteoporosis and assessing an individual’s risk for developing fractures.
Sue has been a Diagnostic Radiographer at the hospital for 15 years. She completed her Radiography Degree in Ipswich and worked at Ipswich Hospital for a few years before moving to London and working in clinical practice at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead. She then worked as a Clinical Lecturer for City University for three years before moving back to East Anglia to work at the James Paget.
In order to win the award, Sue had to score the highest overall examination mark and pass a portfolio on the first attempt. The portfolio included assessment in DXA scan technique, quality assurance and detailed patient case studies and was submiited in June 2017. The online examination was sat in London in January 2017 and was a multiple choice format with clinical, technical and DXA modules. This followed an initial lecture course held in Birmingham in the Autumn of 2016.
Sue will be presented with the award at the National Osteoporosis Society conference – “Osteoporosis 2018” to be held in Birmingham later this year.
Sue has now started a DXA reporting course at the University of Derby to support the Radiology Department going forward. This will enable her to report on the DXA scans to provide the referring clinician with the necessary information to treat patients who are at risk of osteoporotic fractures.