June 9, 2020
Open Letter to Employers:
ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society is the premier national professional organization representing Neurodiagnostic Technologists. As such, our mission is to support neurodiagnostic professionals by providing guidance such as scope of practice, competencies and job descriptions to cover a diverse range of skills and specialties within the field.
Since the field of neurodiagnostic technology covers a variety of modalities utilized in a vast array of settings within health care organizations, employers often are not aware of the diverse skill sets required to provide these diagnostic and monitoring services. ASET advocates for the development of a career ladder and job descriptions that reflect the acquisition of additional skills and experience to conduct highly specialized procedures in critical settings such as intraoperative neuro-monitoring, ICU monitoring and Epilepsy Monitoring.
Specialization within neurodiagnostics has become very common due to the high level of skill required to work in our most advanced areas of practice such as LTM/ICU and intraoperative monitoring. ABRET: Neurodiagnostic Credentialing and Accreditation, the organization that offers registry exams for neurodiagnostics, has added certification exams for LTM and IONM (the CLTM and CNIM credentials). Many neurodiagnostic technologists work exclusively in these work environments. Students graduating from a CAAHEP accredited program in neurodiagnostics are immediately eligible to sit for ABRET’s EEG and EP exams upon graduation. While these technologists may decide to go directly into an EEG lab and put their skills immediately to use, others choose to seek further training and specialize.
The additional training and responsibility needed to work in the operating room or ICU should be recognized as an advanced, specialized field. EEG technologists working in clinical neurophysiology must have a basic understanding of medical conditions, EEG findings and clinical correlations.
Further, technologists working in the ICU and operating room have added responsibility and must recognize detrimental changes in recorded data which may indicate alarm criteria conditions. They must then initiate urgent intervention and request rapid interpretation of waveforms. Specific changes in recorded data can indicate a life threatening situation, or the potential for irreversible nerve or brain damage. The work can be very stressful and demanding, requiring long hours and emergency call-back time.
ASET has published job descriptions which include models for “specialists” in LTM,
ICU and Intraoperative Neuro-monitoring. These classifications should require either an Associate’s Degree from a CAAHEP accredited program in Neurodiagnostic Technology or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field of science. In addition, it is recommended that specialists have a neurodiagnostic credential such as R. EEG T. or R. EP T, and strongly recommend that technologists acquire a CLTM or CNIM credential. Compensation should reflect the training, experience and responsibility required to complete tasks within the specialist job categories. We encourage employers to add advanced practice job descriptions for technologists working in these specialties.