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A neurodiagnostic technologist administers neurologic tests on patients in a clinic or hospital setting. Among the tests a technologist often administers are electromyographies, electroencephalographies and nerve conduction studies. During any of these testing procedures, a person working in this capacity may also be assigned to collect and record pertinent medical information, explain a testing process and relay results to a patient, as well as address any questions or concerns a patient may have about the test. In addition to administering tests which monitor brain and nerve activity, a neurodiagnostic technologist also works to assure that all equipment used for testing is in good working condition.
Neurodiagnostic technologist jobs are highly specialized and require workers to be formally trained at the college level. In order to be successful in this career, individuals must be extremely detail-oriented, possess the ability to operate and understand complex medical equipment and must be able to accurately interpret data received during testing. A technologist must also have clear written and verbal communication skills, as well as be personable and able to work well with patients, a patient’s family members, nurses, doctors and other medical staff members.
Precise neurodiagnostic technologist duties may vary among employers. All technologists, however, are trained to operate testing equipment used to conduct nerve conduction studies, electroencephalography tests, electromyography tests, polysomnography tests and intraoperative monitoring. Beyond operating the equipment used to administer these tests, a neurodiagnostic technologist must also know how to identify any problems with the testing equipment and be able to recalibrate machinery or make minor repairs, if necessary. Additionally, basic duties such as customizing patient tests, explaining procedures and results to patients and their families, and reporting results to the appropriate medical staff are also common neurodiagnostic technologist requirements.
Testing administered by a neurodiagnostic technologist is important in detecting abnormalities in the brain and the nervous system. Precise results are, therefore, necessary and a technologist must be able to identify any possible disturbances to those results, such as flaws in the monitoring process or equipment or levels of patient nervousness about the testing procedure that may skew results. In some instances, testing lasts several hours and may even require a patient’s overnight stay. Part of a neurodiagnostic technologist job description is, therefore, to interact with patients in such a way as to reduce anxiety about the test, as well as to help make patients as comfortable as possible during long testing procedures.