An electroencephalographic (EEG) technician or technologist, also known as an electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologist or an electroneurophysiology (ENP) technologist, is a trained medical professional who assists doctors and neurologists in diagnosing brain abnormalities.
EEG technicians are trained to operate EEG machines, which are used to measure and record the electrical activity of brain waves via electrodes secured to a patient’s scalp. Technicians use EEG machines to administer EEG tests which may then detect brain disorders or damage.
EEG technicians can use these tests to monitor patients during sleep cycles. EEG technicians also perform pre-test consultations and record the patient’s medical history. Since the EEG can be stressful for some patients, EEG technicians can also explain the test procedure to patients in order to help assuage some of their fears.
During testing, the EEG technician monitors the patient’s status and notes any abnormalities. After testing is complete, they report their findings to the patient’s doctor for further analysis. They often work at hospitals or at other testing facilities.
Requirements for EEG technicians are a high school diploma or its equivalent, and certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). On-the-job training may also be offered as job duties can vary per employer.
Though formal training is not required, many EEG technicians may wish to pursue further education, such as certification programs or 2-year associate’s degree programs. The availability of such programs will vary depending on your location.
Perhaps a key distinction is that EEG technicians operate the equipment and run the tests, but it is the physicians who interpret the test results. The EEG technician may identify and highlight observed anomalies in the test results, but the physician is the one who diagnoses the meaning of such anomalies and prescribes treatment for the patient.
Another plus is that you are part of a team. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Any issues or questions that exceed your area of expertise you can refer to the physician.
This may be a good match for you if:
- you pay close attention to details
- you can communicate understanding and reassurance to patients
- you like operating and maintaining specialized equipment
- you enjoy dealing with a variety of people from patients and family to physicians and other health care workers
If you think this is the job for you, check out our list of EEG Technologist Opportunities
We also have some links to various associations in our Useful Links section that may be of help for anyone considering becoming an EEG technician.