EEG Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
An electroencephalographic (EEG) technician or technologist, also known as an electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologist, is a trained medical professional who assists doctors and neurologists in diagnosing brain abnormalities. Learn more about becoming an EEG technician here.
EEG technicians are trained to operate machines known as electroencephalographs, which are used to measure and record the electrical activity of brain waves via electrodes secured to the patient's scalp. The technicians use these devices to administer tests called electroencephalograms (EEGs), which may then detect brain disorders or damage.
EEG technicians can use these tests to monitor patients during sleep cycles. EEG technicians also perform pre-test consultations and record the patient's medical history. Since the EEG can be stressful for some patients, EEG technicians can also explain the test procedure to patients in order to help assuage some of their fears.
The primary duty of an EEG technician is to perform EEG tests when requested by a physician. As part of the testing process, an EEG tech will gather a patient's medical history, explain testing procedures, and prepare the patient for the procedure. During testing, the EEG technician monitors the patient's status and notes any abnormalities. After testing is complete, they report their findings to the patient's doctor for further analysis. They often work at hospitals or at other testing facilities.
The requirements for EEG technicians entering the field are a high school diploma or its equivalent, and certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). On-the-job training may also be offered as job duties can vary per employer.
Though formal training is not required, many EEG technicians may wish to pursue further education, such as certification programs or 2-year associate's degree programs. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs recommends various accredited programs, including online programs (www.caahep.org). The American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists, a non-profit credentialing board, offers EEG technician certification (www.abret.org).
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, the majority of EEG technicians working in December 2013 earned between $23,853 and $50,878 a year. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to EEG technicians, the BLS did project that the employment of health technologists and technicians will likely grow by about 24% between 2012 and 2022, a rate faster than the average predicted for all occupations.
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