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Is EEG 
Right for Me?
Is a career as an EEG Technician right for me?

Going back to school to start a new career is an important decision that requires much thought and should not be taken lightly. It is an intellectual and financial investment in your future which will help you build a better life for yourself. It is about so much more than finding a higher paying job. It is your chance to find a career that best suits your personal likes and dislikes; one that challenges and rewards you for a job well-done.

An Electroencephalography (EEG) career is not right for everybody. While some schools will try to convince you why their program is perfect for you, we want you to be knowledgeable about the decision you are making and feel confident that our program best meets your interests and goals. We have included the following quiz to help you identify and evaluate whether a career in EEG is right for you.

Take the 'Is EEG Right for Me?' Quiz

Select which answer best describes how you feel about each statement. Use a sheet of paper to track your answers.

  1. Studying the human body and how it works...
    a. is very exciting to me.
    b. is somewhat interesting to me.
    c. does not interest me at all.

  2. Basic math questions are...
    a. easy for me to solve.
    b. challenging, but I'm willing to learn.
    c. stressful and to be avoided whenever possible.

  3. I find working in a busy environment...
    a. exciting.
    b. irritating.

  4. The greatest reward in helping others is...
    a. the way it makes me feel.
    b. knowing I helped make a difference.
    c. the paycheck.

  5. I find working in a quiet environment...
    a. is boring.
    b. is where I do my best work.

  6. Working with computers...
    a. is easy for me.
    b. is challenging, but I'm willing to learn.
    c. is stressful and to be avoided whenever possible.

  7. Finding a career that allows me to grow professionally...
    a. is very important to me.
    b. would be nice.
    c. is not important to me.

  8. I prefer to work...
    a. as part of a team.
    b. independently.

  9. I am looking for a career that offers...
    a. a flexible schedule.
    b. a consistent, structured schedule.

  10. If given the choice, the patients I would like to work with...
    a. children
    b. adults
    c. either of the above.

Score and Interpret the Results to Your Answers

Each response is worth a specific number of points. Score your answers using the key provided below.

  1. a = 10     b = 10     c = 0
  2. a = 10     b = 10     c = 0
  3. a = 25     b = 10    
  4. a = 10     b = 10     c = 5
  5. a = 25     b = 10
  6. a = 10     b = 10     c = 0
  7. a = 50     b = 10     c = 10
  8. a = 10     b = 10
  9. a = 50     b = 10
  10. See instructions listed below.

If your score is higher than 115 points you are likely to enjoy working as an EEG Technician in a busy hospital environment. Read more below.

If your score is less than 115 points you may find working as an EEG Technician in a private practice or outpatient clinic more to your liking. Keep reading to learn more.

If you answered 'C' to questions 1, 2, or 6 a career as an EEG Technician may not be the right choice for you. See the reasons why below.

EEG Technicians who work in Hospitals

Based on your score the ideal place for you to enjoy a career as an EEG Technician is in a hospital environment. Fortunately for you, hospitals are where 69%* of EEG Technicians are employed. Here you will gain exposure to a wide variety of patients who have been admitted with life-threatening emergencies such as a strokes, seizures, or traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents, physical assaults, or simply from falling down. Depending on which hospital you choose, you may also encounter patients who are admitted for brain surgeries and brain cancer treatments.

Because emergencies happen at all times of the day, hospitals are able to offer EEG Technicians more flexible in their schedules. You may be able to choose whether you prefer working days or nights, weekdays or weekends, or eight or twelve hour shifts. Some hospitals allow their EEG Technicians to be on-call for emergency situations.

Career growth within the hospital environment can take several different directions. An EEG Technician can easily increase his or her value to the organization by pursuing additional neurodiagnostic certifications including Long-Term Monitoring (LTM), Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS), Evoked Potentials (EP), Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM), and Polysomnography (PSG). Additionally, motivated EEG Technicians may have the opportunity be promoted into management.

*Source: "2015 Neurodiagnostic Profession Salary and Benefits Report" published by ASET The Neurodiagnostic Society

EEG Technicians who work in Private Practices or Outpatient Clinics

Your score indicates that you are more likely to enjoy the calmer, more structured environment of a private practice neurological office or clinic. Here you can experience a wide variety of patients seeking treatment for injuries and conditions that do not require immediate emergency services including the diagnosis and management of epilepsy, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and sleep disorders to name a few. Most private practice neurological facilities observe the traditional eight-hour workday on Monday through Friday.

Similar to their hospital counterparts, EEG Technicians working in a private neurological facility may choose to increase their value to an organization by pursuing additional neurodiagnostic certifications including Long-Term Monitoring (LTM), Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS), Evoked Potentials (EP), Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM), and Polysomnography (PSG); however, opportunities for be promotion into management may be limited due to the size of the facility.

How to Score Question Number 10

Question 10 was developed to help you identify the type of patient with whom you would most enjoy working. Most EEG Technicians feel strongly one way or the other about either working with adults or children as patients.

Working with Babies and Children as Patients

There are hospitals and private neurological facilities around the country dedicated to helping diagnose and treat congenital disorders and abnormalities in newborn babies and children. EEG Technicians working with babies and children are very passionate about their jobs. On a daily basis they are able to obtain accurate EEG recordings from the smallest, most wiggly patients while trying to alleviate the parents' anxiety. Their efforts help neurologists identify and diagnose autism, tumors, physical abuse, and so much more.

Working with Adult Patients

EEG Technicians who work with adult patients appreciate the dialogue and feedback that only a patient is able to provide. In most cases, patients are able to communicate their medical histories, the reason for their visit, and express subtle symptoms such as nausea, pain, or confusion which when it is combined with the EEG recording helps the neurologist make a diagnosis. Every day patients are seen in hospitals and neurological facilities around the country seeking treatment for conditions such as headaches, sleep disorders, seizures, and infections.

If you answered 'C' to questions 1, 2, or 6

A career as an EEG Technician may not be a good choice for you. The brain is busy all day long receiving information from nerve cells throughout the body and providing the appropriate response in return. A good EEG Technician is interested in and will have an understanding of how brain injuries and illnesses affect other parts of the body.

EEG Technicians use basic math skills (i.e. addition, subtraction, and percentages) every day to accurately measure patient heads for electrode application. Math errors resulting in incorrect electrode placement will alter the EEG recording and may result in an incorrect diagnosis.

EEG technology has progressed into the digital age. EEG Technicians spend about eighty percent of their day working on the computer. Good EEG Technicians learn how the systems they use work and are expected to be able to troubleshoot basic software and hardware problems.

So if you are not interested in learning about the human body and how it works, despise basic math problems, or run screaming from the room when asked to do something on a computer, a career as an EEG Technician may not be the best choice for you.

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