It’s Neurodiagnostic Week! Seriously though….I think we need a whole month.
Most people have no clue what we do…It is honestly the Best Kept Secret in Healthcare!
This field had a staffing shortage long before it became a popular trend in other areas…and it just keeps getting worse.
A quick search on Indeed.com for ‘EEG Technician’ currently shows 1661 jobs openings in the U.S.
For those working in this field we know how interesting and rewarding it is…
Taking a patient history during the set up and quietly guessing to yourself what you think you will see on the recording.
That Wow! feeling watching the waveforms displayed on the screen…It never gets old.
If you are lucky enough to work around the doctors in charge of your patient’s care – inquiring their thoughts on the test and the opportunity to learn every day.
A career where you can work in a clinic, a hospital, an operating room, or at home…..How is it that such a versatile and dynamic field can have such a large national shortage of qualified staff?
That is why solving this problem will take a collective effort by the physicians, technicians, educators, administrators, and those who influence young people’s career decisions.
Some Fun Facts:
At the time of this writing there are 8350 Registered EEG technologists; however, 2000 of those were issued over 30 years ago. So in all likelihood just over 6000 working Registered EEG technologists (that’s .0018% of the U.S. population : ). Fortunately, there are many other qualified staff working in this field that are not yet registered or are currently working on getting registered. But it’s worth repeating – there are currently 1661 EEG technician job openings posted on indeed.com.
The EEG Registry exam was first issued in 1963 and in 2021 had a pass rate of 77% with Pathway III having the highest success rate. (reference: Exam Statistics on abret.org)
In 1924 Hans Berger, a German Psychiatrist inserted silver wires under his subject’s scalp (mostly used his children) and invented the EEG recording. He called it an Elektrenkephalogramm and first described the alpha rhythm showing how it suppresses when we open our eyes.
In 1937 the first hospital based EEG lab was started with a 2 channel EEG machine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
The EEG may be the mostly widely administered test in Neurodiagnostics; however, many technologists are skilled to perform a wide range of testing including Long-Term Monitoring, Polysomnography, Evoked Potentials, Nerve Conduction Studies, and Intra-Operative Monitoring.
Even though this field is ‘the best kept secret in healthcare’ most all of us have been trying for years to get the word out.
Let’s Begin to Think About:
How we can mentor to new staff to improve our national registry statistics?
How we can support our National Society?
How we can communicate this field to local students?
This week gives us an opportunity to share what we do, but honestly – let’s take more than a week.