How to Become an EEG Tech

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An electroencephalogram, or EEG for short, is a type of diagnostic test used in helping doctors identify neurological problems within the brain. An EEG is useful in diagnosing disorders such as epilepsy, sleep problems and narcolepsy. It may also help doctors evaluate states of consciousness and even brain death. The cells of the human brain emit electrical impulses detected by an electroencephalograph, the machine which records electrical activity of the brain. Electrical impulses are converted into a wave pattern on a computer screen. The EEG technologist administers the test by placing electrodes on the scalp of the patient, saving the results on a computer disk. EEG techs are typically employed by hospitals, diagnostic centers, researchers and neurologists.

How to Become an EEG Tech

  • Complete high school. Enrollment in a college, trade school or any on-the-job training program requires the completion of a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as the GED. High school courses in biology, chemistry, physics and math are most helpful in preparing to train as an EEG technician.

  • Complete an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Electroneurodiagnostic Technology (END). Although it is sometimes possible to obtain EEG technician training on the job, employers prefer to hire graduates of a two-year END program. A typical course of study would include anatomy and neuroanatomy, physiology and instrumentation. There is also a clinical component, during which students demonstrate their learning through actual hands-on experience in local hospitals.

  • Get certified. To obtain certification as a Registered Electroencephalographic Technologist (R.EEG.T) completion of an examination is required. This examination is administered by the American Board of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists, which is the national credentialing board for EEG and EP techs. Candidates must be current students or graduates of a two-year END program. The END program must be certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  • Keep certification current. According to the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, EEG techs must complete 30 continuing education hours by the end of their fifth year of certification. By the end of their 10th year of being certified, EEG technicians must have completed an additional 30 hours.

  • Specialize. Through continuing education and experience, EEG techs may specialize in additional areas of electroneurodiagnostic medicine, such as Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring and Nerve Conduction Studies. Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring refers to conducting a continuous EEG as the patient undergoes surgery. Nerve Conduction Studies are done to evaluate the electrical conduction and function of the motor and sensory nerves. The procedure typically involves electromyography (EMG), as needles are placed directly into muscle tissue. Training and experience in performing Nerve Conduction Studies are required to obtain the national credential as a Registered Nerve Conduction Studies Technologist (R.NCS.T). For the R.NCS.T credential you need to take both an oral and a written exam administered by the American Association of Electroneurodiagnostic Technicians.

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