What to Expect
Because there are so few programs in electroneurodiagnostic (END) technology,
students must be prepared to work hard if they want to get some clinical experience.
Not all programs guarantee a practicum placement, as Aydan Cobb
discovered. "In Maryland, there are only four hospitals that agreed to instructing
students. I had to go through the coordinator -- it is up to her whether you
will get placed and when," she says.
"If she doubts that you are sincere enough to pull it through, she will
not place you. You have a great number of students who want to get into limited
If you are lucky enough to get a placement, you'll be right into the action.
"Basically, you will do the EEGs as they come in, help diagnose them, do
the prep work, pretty much everything the technician is doing," she says. You
just won't get paid.
"We have to keep a logbook with all the patients -- it is required to
have worked on a minimum of 200 patients during the two semesters. The
more you put in, the more you ask, the more you will learn," she adds.
To make sure END technology was the right choice, Darryl Hay did a job
shadow with a technologist at the nearest hospital before applying.
"It was difficult to get in," he remembers. "There are only eight
students in my class and we all had to have interviews. As a result, I expected
the program to be difficult in general."
He was relieved to discover that the style of teaching was to "gradually
get into things," and that class hours averaged out to 27 per week.
In the final year of the program, each class member completes a five-month
practicum divided between two different sites.
How to Prepare
Besides the usual math, science and English courses, Hay recommends
high school students take "lots of anatomy courses -- the more about
the brain and the nervous system, the better. Also, take computers and learn
how to type."
Possible extracurricular activities include volunteering at hospitals,
day-care centers and rest homes, since END technologists work with all age