The Life and Work of an EEG specialist.
An electroencephalogram Technologist sits on the right-hand side of neurologists, preparing and conducting brain wave and neural system tests on patients who require a unique type of monitoring.
To become a specialist EEG Technologist requires a unique blend of medical and technical know-how, and in some cases requires a specific license to practice as an EEG Technologist. Here, we run through what it’s like to be an EEG, how to become an EEG Technologist, and what you need to know about the role to pursue a career in further neurological study and medicine.
What is an Electroencephalogram (EEG) Technologist?
An EEG Technologist is a specialist medical professional who measures brain abnormalities in patients through the use of probes that are attached to a patient’s scalp. These probes monitor brain activity and function via waves of neurological activity on a chart, the results of which help evaluate several types of brain disorders such as epilepsy, narcolepsy, psychoses and other degenerative neurological issues such as Alzheimer's disease or the ongoing effects from a stroke or tumors.
EEGs are sometimes used to monitor brain function in patients who are comatose and can also be used to monitor blood flow to the brain during surgery.
An EEG test is one of many tests a Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist can do to support neurology doctors in monitoring and treating issues with the brain.
What qualifications do you need to become an EEG Technologist?
• Degree: Associates Degree in Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Technology, with modules covering one, if not all, of the following: neurophysiology, human anatomy, interpretation of electroencephalograms, physiology, nerve potentiation and patient care.
◦ These degrees will often give students hands-on experience with EEG machines. Often specialist courses will be available within college and further education institutions in EEG particulars.
• Certification: To become qualified in any Neurodiagnostic or Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist role, students must ensure any course is accredited by the CAAHEP. The two primary certification bodies are American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists (AAET) and the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). To pass these certifications, you will require up to a year of work experience in the role and to pass a series of exams.
What other skills do you need to become an EEG Technologist?
It should be fairly apparent that an effective EEG Technologist has to be both technically proficient and invested in the vast array of neurological treatments available to patients suffering from trauma, degenerative disease or worse.
But other, more interpersonal “soft” skills are highly sought after such as good communication skills, a desire to work with patients, the ability to provide clear instructions and inform patients on the basics of EEG testing and why it matters, critical thinking, and the ability to safely apply EEG equipment onto patient’s heads. EEG Technologists will also be expected to know the best practice to help patients suffering from seizures, and apply first aid if required.
EEG Technologists will also have to complete a certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
The median average salary for all EEG Technologists is $45,432.
What career options are available to me once I become an EEG Technologist?
Adopting an attitude of continual learning is a great place to start - many professional and industry training bodies provide courses and modules to help improve management or supervisory skills and can open the opportunity door to new experiences within neurology.
To find out more about EEG careers, or if you need resume help when applying for EEG roles, simply get in touch with our team.