Electroneurodiagnostic (END) technology students learn to record human
brainwaves. They help doctors diagnose epilepsy, brain tumors and other neurological
Most people have heard of electroencephalograms (EEGs), for example. To
take an EEG, an END technologist attaches sensory receptors to the patient's
head and records a tracing of the brain's electrical activity.
In the past, many END technologists were trained on the job. Nowadays,
hospitals increasingly rely on the stream of graduates from the two dozen
END technology programs in the U.S. Programs are accredited by the Commission
on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Most programs grant diplomas or certificates. A few offer associate's degrees. Programs
take from one to two years and include extensive on-the-job training.
While learning the full range of END procedures, students are also encouraged
to develop a specialty. Some programs also offer certificates in the specialized
Students take a core curriculum of communications, physical and life
sciences and behavioral and social sciences. Later, they study neurology
and neuropathology, and learn how to handle the END lab's sensitive equipment.
In the final stages of their studies, students are placed in participating
hospitals for several hundred hours of unpaid clinical experience.
A common type of program is a joint initiative between a community college
and a local medical center, such as the 21-month program offered by Springfield
College and St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. Upon graduation,
students receive an associate's degree from the college and a certificate
in END technology from the hospital.
"We try to give our students the theory and foundations and as much varied
practical experience as we can," says program head Janice Walbert.
Graduates can contact the American Board of Registration for Electroencephalographic
and Evoked Potential Technologists and take its exams to become a registered
You'll need a strong background in biology, human anatomy and computers.
Walbert recommends high school students take courses like biology, chemistry,
anatomy and physiology.
Students need good communications skills and the ability to work
Some programs require applicants to have some volunteer experience with
the ill or direct experience with a sick family member or friend. They
may also have to know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Besides tuition and books, students often have to cover the cost of travel
to and from the hospital placement.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Clinical
Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
Neuromuscular Disease Center
Why electroneurophysiology is important
Neurosciences on the Internet
A resource guide
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
A professional body