EEG Tech Education Requirements and Job Duties
EEG techs, or electroencephalogram technicians, take readings of the brain or central nervous system. Neurologists then use these readings to discern neurological conditions or perform neuropsychological research. Certificate and associate's degree programs can train students in the operation and maintenance of EEG machines.
Education Requirements for EEG Techs
The minimum requirements to become an entry-level EEG technician are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and a high school diploma or GED. Training sometimes is received on the job or through in-house training programs. However, many employers seek prospective EEG techs with a certificate or associate degree in EEG or electroneurodiagnostic (END) technology from a technical or community college.
EEG and END programs introduce students to human anatomy, physiology, neurophysiology, medical terminology and CPR. Students typically receive advanced training in EEG instruments, testing and reporting outcomes, as well as studying communications to strengthen their skills in patient interaction. Associate degree programs generally include an internship or clinical experience.
Licensing and Certification Requirement
There are no licensure requirements for EEG technicians; however, they can become voluntarily registered through the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). Applicants must complete an exam and hold an associate degree from an accredited program or have three years experience in the field. However, beginning in January 2012, enrollment in or completion of an associate degree program will become the standard, with no option for substituting experience.
Job Duties of an EEG Tech
EEG technicians prepare, operate and maintain electroencephalograph machines. They obtain medical histories of patients' neurological disorders, such as epilepsy or sleep disorders, and they apply electrodes to patients' heads, chests, arms, legs or spinal columns, depending on the EEG procedure.
When conducting an EEG, techs must display an understanding of and adherence to lab policies and procedures. They must be able to correct for electrical and mechanical interference, in addition to reading and distinguishing particular kinds of brainwave patterns.
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