The totality of human biological function, as we observe and experience it, relies on a healthy and functional central nervous system. This amazingly complex system of biological wiring triggers every movement we make and thought we create, and if something goes wrong with this system, it can be disastrous for one's health and life. One of the primary medical specialists tasked with caring for the nervous system is called the neurodiagnostic technologist. These are highly-trained specialists in the use of advanced medical equipment to examine a patient's nervous system and, by the electrical activity coursing through it, identify anomalies and abnormalities which may indicate serious health issues.
Neurodiagnostic technologists utilize several types of machines to accomplish their tasks, among which are the EEG (electroencephalogram, which reads and records electrical activity in the brain), the polysomnogram (used to diagnose sleep disorders), and intra-operative neuromonitoring, which provides a surgical team with a sort of real-time reading of neurological activity during a surgical process. Neurodiagnostic technologists are responsible for reading the data produced by these and other tests and working with patients' physicians and surgical teams to correctly interpret the data and work toward formulating treatment or surgical options.
To become a neurodiagnostic technologist, one must be certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). There are variable educational requirements which employers require, but almost all value experience very highly. Applicants must also be CPR-trained and understand how to administer basic cardiac life support.
Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist (END) Tasks
Attach electrodes to patient's head to obtain brain activity readings.
Prepare readings for interpretation by a physician.
Operate equipment to record electrical activity of the brain readings.
Monitor patient respiration, heart and brain activity during procedure.
File reports, order supplies and maintain equipment.