The science of the brain has advanced dramatically in the last several decades. Once, little was known of the physical makeup of the brain and guesswork was the best that modern medicine could provide to treat problems which were also poorly understood; however, technology has evolved considerably, and many problems which were once death sentences can now be identified and diagnosed quickly and properly. A neurophysiology technician (or EEG technician) operates one of our most important pieces of brain-scanning equipment: the electroencephalograph.
Neurophysiology technicians use EEGs to read and record the electrical activity of a patient's brainwaves, which is accomplished by connecting electrodes to certain parts of the scalp; the machine then records the brainwave patterns and translates them into a graph. The actual operation of the machine is mostly automated, so the primary task of the EEG technician is to correctly interpret the data produced by the machine to locate neural abnormalities and present their threat/s correctly. This information is then shared with the patient's physicians, who will further analyze the data and use it to develop a treatment plan.
Neurophysiology technicians should be personable, friendly individuals who are able to keep patients calm and engaged, as the process - though harmless - can be scary to patients who are unfamiliar with it. These technicians should also be strong analytical thinkers who are skilled at knowing which patterns to search for in the data and correctly interpreting their meaning.
Becoming a neurophysiology technician requires no specific education beyond a high school diploma. Though there are college-level EEG training programs and a degree in this field may improve employment opportunities, some employers will provide on-site training.
Neurophysiology Technologist (EEG) Tasks
Monitor patients' comfort, blood pressure and heart rate during tests.
Prepare reports of diagnostic procedures for interpretation by physician.
Conduct and analyze complex electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction velocity (NCV), or other neurodiagnastic tests.
Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.
Obtain and record patient identification, medical history and test results.