EEG Technician Degree Programs with Course Information
An electroencephalograph (EEG) is a recording of the electrical activity of the brain and nervous system. An EEG technician is an individual with knowledge of the equipment that is used to measure and record that activity. The title EEG technician has largely been replaced today by the title electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologist
Associate of Applied Science in Electroneurodiagnostic Technology
END technologists typically hold an associate's degree in the field of electroneurodiagnostic technology.
Although a certain amount of training for an END technologist takes place on-the-job, formal academic training is now required by the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (ASET). Potential END technologists enroll in a program that over the course of one year leads to either a diploma or Certificate of Completion, depending on the institution. A second year of study results in an associate's degree. Students in formal programs are trained to perform electroencephalograms, which are tests for evoked potentials from the central nervous system; nerve conduction velocity tests, which check for nerve damage; intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring; and transcranial doppler testing, which measures the velocity of bloodflow through the brain.
Some END technologists choose to specialize in polysomnography, or the monitoring and noting the brain activity of patients who are sleeping. They summarize the data and present it to sleep physicians, who diagnose and prescribe treatments.
Individuals interested in a career as END technologists are required to hold a high school diploma or GED in addition to a certificate in CPR. High school courses should emphasize areas such as biology, human anatomy, health and mathematics. Since the duties of an END technologist entail direct contact with patients, as well as collaborating with physicians, written and oral communication skills are very important. Although a certificate or diploma can qualify an individual for employment and entrance into a hospital's END training program, an associate's degree is generally preferred.
Both 1-year certificate programs and 2-year degree programs in END include technical courses. However, additional field-specific courses and general education courses are required for an associate degree. Class work and clinicals are a part of both types of programs. Classes include:
- Biomedical terminology
- Neurological disorders
- Basic instrument methodology
- Microcomputer applications
- Anatomy and physiology
- Patient care
- Human diseases
- Intercultural communication
Popular Career Options
- Registered Electroencephalographic Technologist
- Registered Evoked Potential Technologist
- Registered Nerve Conduction Studies Technologist
- Registered Polysomnographic Technologist
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), job opportunities for medical and clinical laboratory technologists, a category which includes END technologists, are projected to increase 11% over the 10-year period of 2010-2020, which is about as fast as the national average for all occupations. Although private practices and companies provide some employment in the field, the largest demand for END technologists exists in hospitals.
The BLS states that the national average salary for health technologists and technicians was $44,400, as of May 2012.
Continuing Education Information
After working 2-3 years as an END technologist, individuals are eligible to sit for an appropriate credentialing examination, which is required by most employers. Examinations are administered by the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists, the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists and the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists. Once they have received one of these certifications, individuals may then sit for the certification examination to become a registered neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring technologist.
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