Electroneurodiagnostic Technology

Electroneurodiagnostic (END) technology is a health field that involves helping physicians diagnose problems relating to the nervous system. Explore the job duties of END technologists, and learn about the education and certification required for this career.

Is Electroneurodiagnostic Technology for Me?

Career Overview

Electroneurodiagnostic technology involves the study of the electrical activity of the human nervous system, including the brain, peripheral nerves, spinal cord and somatosensory systems. In order to study this activity, electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists must first record and calculate it using specialized equipment, such as electroencephalograph (EEG) machines. Results are interpreted by a physician and used to help treat issues of the nervous system, including sleep disorders, epilepsy, strokes and other brain disorders. END technology is also used to determine brain activity in coma patients.

Working in electroneurodiagnostic technology, you might also obtain medical histories, maintain equipment and help prepare patients for procedures. You could be employed in a hospital, research institution, sleep disorder center, physician's office or epilepsy-monitoring unit. You'll work under the supervision of a specialized physician, whose job is to interpret collected data for medical research, patient evaluation and diagnosis. Electroneurodiagnostic procedures can be as brief as 20 minutes or as long as eight hours and sometimes include overnight sleep studies.

Employment

Working in this field, you might expect to earn between $29,598-$61,091; this was the annual pay range for END technologists whose salaries and bonuses were within the 10th-90th percentile range, as reported by PayScale.com in March 2014. As of 2013, the Mayo Clinic suggested that the median salary for entry-level technologists was $45,000, and that earnings opportunities grow with experience and specialization.

According to O*NET OnLine, jobs in this field paid a median salary of $40,700 in 2012. The agency also reported that employment of neurodiagnostic technologists - including END technologists - is expected to increase much faster than average, at a rate of at least 22% from 2012-2022 (www.onetonline.org).

How Can I Work in Electroneurodiagnostic Technology?

Education

To get started in this field, you need an associate degree. As of March 2014, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) listed 20 schools and health centers with accredited associate degree programs in neurodiagnostic technology. It also listed 25 accredited programs in the related field of polysomnography (PSG).

A full-time associate's program typically takes two years to complete and includes a combination of lectures, hands-on laboratory work and supervised clinical experiences at local medical centers. Such programs could prepare you for a variety of sub-specialties, including polysomnography, intraoperative monitoring (IOM) and electroencephalogram (EEG) technology.

The minimum requirement for entrance into an electroneurodiagnostic technology program is a high school diploma, but high school courses in math, biology, grammar and human anatomy are recommended. Credits from an associate degree may transfer to a bachelor's degree program in health care management, which could qualify you for advancement into leadership roles.

Certification

Some employers may require or prefer professional certification. Certification is offered by the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists and the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.

Required Skills

Because it will be your job to help patients stay relaxed during procedures, it's important that you're compassionate and able to build rapport with others. You should feel comfortable working with computers and electrical concepts as well. Electroneurodiagnostic technology can require continuing education, so a commitment to life-long learning is also important.

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