Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Have you thought about giving your brain a holiday gift?

“The brain is like a muscle.  When we think well, we feel good,” – Carl Sagan

In the Neurodiagnostic profession we get pretty comfortable working around brains.  We record the brain’s activity, sometimes directly on the surface of the brain with the help of neurosurgeons.  However, we are often so busy with the details of work and home life that we rarely have time to challenge our minds and think about our own brain’s power.

At this time of year, you probably have a long list of gifts you plan to give to your loved ones and friends:  an “X-box” for a son, a pair of gloves for an aunt, a batch of cookies for your neighbor...

But what about a gift for you?  A gift for your career growth, for your self-esteem and for your mind…

I get phone calls from technologists all the time, who tell me that they meant to study for a credentialing exam and never got to it.  Then something changes at work and now they are under pressure to get that R. EEG T credential!  So, I suggest not waiting until it could be your job on the line.  Take your time and begin accumulating meaningful education now.  If you have passed an exam and have a credential, you will likely need CEUs to recertify. 

Just a reminder:  The ABRET R.EEG T. credential will no longer be a lifetime credential in 2023.  Everyone who is an R. EEG T, will need to acquire CEUs to maintain the credential.  Those whose credentials were previously considered “lifetime” will need to submit documentation of 30 hours of continuing education on appropriate topics, related to EEG.  Here is a link to the ABRET website information about acceptable continuing education:  http://abret.org/certificants/recertification/acceptable-continuing-education/

So, no matter where you are on the career ladder, an ASET educational resource would be a good thing for your mind.  Think about signing up for one of our 2019 webinars, or a recorded webinar on a topic of interest!

We will be offering the 2019 Spring Seminar in Atlanta, GA on April 27 & 28, to include two courses running for two days, concurrently: “EEG Boot Camp” and “LTM Academy”.  The 2019 Fall Seminar will be in Albany, NY, on October 19 & 20, offering the “EEG Boot Camp” and “Advanced EEG & LTM” courses.    Our 2019  Annual Conference will celebrate ASET’s 60th anniversary and the program will offer an amazing array of diverse and meaningful discussions to stimulate your professional growth.  If you  can’t travel but want to accumulate more than 10 continuing education credit hours, consider an ASET on-line course!   Our on-line course developer, Maureen Carroll, has put a great deal of thought and effort into improving the learning experience with new graphics and tools such as interactive exercises built into the courses. 

I read the recent ASET Facebook entry regarding what we have to be thankful for.  I have always been thankful that I discovered the profession of “EEG Technologist” back in 1978 and I have always felt that this was the perfect fit for a job for me!  I loved getting to spend quality time with patients, and getting to talk with them during set-up.  I loved the variety of EEG finding, never quite knowing what I would see when the recording began.  I love the variety of tasks and patients throughout the day.  I loved seeing the actual workings of the brain, otherwise totally hidden!  What a privilege!  Give it some thought:  What are your thankful for?

Please contact me directly if you would like to know more, or have questions about a specific educational product.  And have a happy and peaceful winter holiday season!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Teaching Neurodiagnostic Technology in the Clinical Setting

This image says it all!  “When you teach, you change the very order of things – from what is, to what is possible.” 

I am dedicating this blog entry to one of the most dedicated technologists I have ever met, one who served as an instructor in the Boston Children’s Hospital NDT training program.  She passed away last month.  She was a mentor to so many fledging students who learned from her that Neurodiagnostic Technology is an exacting science and great care must be taken to do everything right!  Her name is Barbara Carter.  Bless you Barbara, for you have blessed many with your intelligence and joy.  There is an “in Memoriam” for Barbara on the ASET website:
  Barbara Carter in Memoriam

I hear from lab managers, physicians, recruiters and technologists all the time, always recounting how difficult it is to find qualified Neurodiagnostic technologists to fill staff positions.  The result of long standing staff shortages is burn-out, when remaining staff have to cover the very demanding work-load, often including duties in the O.R., LTM, ICU and on-call.  You can be part of the solution for your institution. 

My question to you, is:  Have you thought about serving as a clinical site for either a distance based Neurodiagnostic Technology Program, or a local, seated program?  Or could you possibly work with a local community college that already has allied health programs and add a Neurodiagnostic Technology Program that will serve to provide the local medical community with skilled technologists for years to come!

Don’t undersell your skills as a mentor and teacher!  If you made it through the EEG Registry Exam, you have the knowledge, and teaching in the clinical setting does not require that you give lectures, so if you are intimidated by public speaking, you have no need to worry!

It helps to think back to how you learned the key skills, who taught you and what you would like to help a less experienced trainee do.  Remember, that the person you are teaching has a lot less skill than you, and you have a lot to offer and sharing your experiences and practical advice is very helpful!

I taught students at the Boston Children’s Hospital for years and I found that you can learn how to teach, just as you learn how to do any practical skill. 

In my professional goals for this year, I want to build more resources for Neurodiagnostic Education, focusing on webinars to provide essential training for clinical site instructors, to be made available at no cost through our website. 

I will close with the phrase in small print on this picture:  “Teaching shines a tremendous light on the future!”

Resources: To read more about clinical site responsibilities and benefits:  https://www.aset.org/files/public/Clinical_Sites_Brochure.pdf
ASET maintains a list of potential clinical sites, and when a program director notifies me that they need a clinical site in a specific location.  To sign up to be on this list please use this link:  https://www.aset.org/files/public/Clinical_Site_Questionnaire.pdf

Monday, September 10, 2018

An opportunity to add skills to prepare for the new ABRET Advanced Neurodiagnostic Credential

Did you know that ABRET is working on a new micro-credential for advanced data analysis?  This exam will be offered only to those who hold a CLTM credential and will be a “Reader Analyst” qualification.  The first exam will take place some time in 2019, and will include assessment of advanced pattern recognition skills, appropriate for technologists who review and edit continuous EEG files.

ASET is bringing our Fall Seminar Courses to Aurora, Colorado on Oct. 13 & 14th, and in addition to the EEG Boot Camp course we will offer an “Advanced EEG and LTM” course.  I have designed this course to include a day full of advanced EEG pattern recognition and related skills such as technical report writing. 

The Sunday Advanced EEG & LTM program will focus on advanced skills for LTM and continuous EEG in the ICU.    This course day will be helpful for technologists who have an interest in building advanced pattern recognition skills and  obtaining the upcoming the new ABRET microcredential “ Reader Analyst”.  The advanced course is also appropriate for those who are seeking interesting educational opportunities while obtaining CEUs for recertification of the R.EEG T, and CLTM credentials.  The faculty for the day are all from the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and the University Hospital of Cleveland, and they will use a workshop format to allow for maximum interaction with course participants, with case studies incorporated into the sessions.  The faculty on Sunday will be: Sherry Nehamkin, R. EEG/EP T, CNIM, CLTM, FASET, Ellen Peters, R. EEG T, CLTM and Naiara Garcia Losarcos, M.D.

Here is the Sunday, Day 2 Schedule for the Advanced Course showing the workshop format:

7:30-  8:30 a.m.                 Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.             ACNS Guidelines and Terminology for LTM  and ICU

9:30-9:45 a.m.                   Break

9:45 – noon                   Workshop: Advanced Pattern Recognition and Editing*

12:00 – 12:45                     Lunch   

12:45 – 2:00                        Workshop: History Taking and Annotating for LTM

2:00- 3:00                           Workshop: Writing a Technical Description

3:00-3:15                              Break   

3:15 – 4:30                          The Best of the Rest: Archiving, Data Storage, Staffing for LTM

Day one of the advanced course will offer diverse topics related to LTM and EEG: 

8:30-9:30                       CLTM Board Prep – Taylor Kaufman, R. EEG/EP T, CNIM, CLTM

9:30-10:30                       New Seizure classifications  - Charuta Joshi, M.D.

10:30-10:45                      Break

10:45-noon         The Pre-surgical LTM Work-up: Localization and Imaging – Kimberly Horiuchi, M.D.

12:00 – 12:45                     Lunch

12:45 – 2:00 p.m.             A Case Study – A Patient’s Journey from First Work-up to Epilepsy Surgery
                                           Camilia Drees, M.D. 

2:00 – 3: 15 p.m.              Continuous EEG in the Intensive Care Unit – Kevin Chapman, M.D.

315 – 3: 30                          Break   

3:30 – 4:15                         Pediatric LTM Case Studies Krista Eschbach, M.D., 

 4:15- 5:15           Skin Safety and Electrodes and Application Techniques

You can register to attend the ASET Fall Seminar at this link: ASE Seminar Registration

Please note that early bird registration ends today!!  Our hotel room block is on the Children’s Hospital of Colorado Campus, and we are using their conference center for our classes.  The room rate is $144 per night and our room block expires on September 20th.  Here is a link to the hotel information:ASET hotel room block

Friday, August 17, 2018

ASET 2018 Annual Conference in NOLA

Dear ASET Annual Conference Participants,

I truly miss being with all of you in New Orleans this year.  But my husband’s medical condition prevented me from traveling, and he was in the hospital for the two weeks prior to the start of the conference, just home this week.  I am enjoying following what is happening on the meeting app activity feed.  Sure looks like you are all having a great time!  I hope that the conference program is meeting your expectations!

Thanks to the work of the great course directors, Pat Trudeau, Barbara Goode, Emily Kale, Aaron James and Dr. Jeremy Bamford, we have a wide variety of interesting topics to offer, and when you combine that with the diverse array of platform presentations that came in as abstracts, it makes for a lot of choices, so I hope there is something for everyone. 

Please let me know if you would like to serve as a course director for a future ASET Conference.  Course Directors start working with me on the program in January of the year of the conference and assist with recruiting speakers and choosing topics of interest.   The benefits include free registration on the days course directors manage courses, and reimbursement for 50% of the hotel room rate for the night before and the night of courses they are managing. 

I start the a file for the next year’s annual conference as soon as the current one is over!  So if you have suggestions for topics or speakers, or you would like to present a topic, please let me know!

In closing, I hope you find many opportunities to Network, Organize and Learn with ASET, this week and in the future!

Enjoy the conference, or as they say in NOLA, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

Monday, July 16, 2018

Epilepsy 911: A Special Event at the 2018 ASET Annual Conference

This is a community service event, hosted by ASET, to take place in conjunction with the ASET 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans.  We are offering a 4 hour educational session for Emergency Service Personnel, EMTs and First Responders, on the topic of urgent care for epilepsy patients.  Neurodiagnostic technologists are also invited to attend, and CEUs will be offered to both EMTs and technologists.

Because Neurodiagnostic Techs really care about their patients and because we work so closely with epilepsy patients, we understand many of the challenges they face.  We know how important it is for the urgent intervention of seizures to be conducted correctly.  Bystanders, family and the first responders have to recognize the event as a seizure, and begin appropriate treatment.  It is not always easy to recognize a seizure that includes atypical symptoms, or pediatric seizures such as infantile spasms.  Appropriate treatment must be started quickly.  Complications and co-morbidities can become life-threatening.  Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy is not well known, even in the medical community! 

We have invited the EMTs in the NOLA area to come to this session on Wed. Aug. 15th, from 1:0Op.m., the day before the ASET annual conference begins.  The course will be held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, at 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans.

We have four very interesting and informational presentations scheduled, and expert speakers lined up.
For technologists: you can register for this event via the ASET meeting registration form.

For EMTs: please contact me at faye@aset.org to register for this event.

Here is the full program description: 

Epilepsy 911 Course description:  This course would include 4 contact hours on topics related to the emergency care of patients with epilepsy.  The goal is to ensure that EMS providers will be able to rapidly recognize various seizure types, conduct a comprehensive initial assessment, and provide appropriate emergency management of seizures. 


Delivery method:  Lecture to include videos of various seizures recorded in the Long Term Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, as well as non-epileptic events.  Handout: seizure classification and symptoms

Learning objectives:

·         list the major categories of seizures according to the International Classification of Seizures

·         recognize symptoms of all seizure types common to adult patients

·         differentiate seizures from non-epileptic events which may resemble seizures

·         consider factors that may have contributed to the seizure

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.   Pediatric and Neonatal Seizures – An Overview of Symptoms and Causes     
 Shannon McGuire , M.D.,
Children’s Hospital, New Orleans                        

Delivery method:  Lecture to include videos of pediatric and neonatal seizures and a description of seizure symptoms, and an overview of pediatric epilepsy syndromes.  Handout: pediatric epileptic syndromes, neonatal seizure symptoms

Learning objectives:

·         name the seizure disorders and epileptic syndromes that occur in childhood

·         recognize the subtle seizure symptoms of the neonate

·         recognize life-threatening events and contributing factors to seizures

3:00- 3:15 p.m.    Break

Delivery mechanism: Lecture to include definitions of complications, examples, case studies, and handout to include these definitions.

Learning objectives:

·         Define parameters of status epilepticus and recognize this life-threatening situation

·         Recognize features of the post-ictal state

·         List factors that contribute to SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)

·         Name various co-morbidities that occur as a result of epilepsy

·         Develop an awareness of the social implications of epilepsy and how the patient and family may react to the occurrence of seizures, and that non-compliance with anti-convulsant drug regimen may contribute to breakthrough seizures and atypical seizures.

4:15-5:15 p.m.   Assessment of Seizures and Current Trends in Emergency Management of Seizures   
Speaker: Rana Abusoufeh, M.D.,
Louisiana State University Health, New Orleans, LA                  

Delivery mechanism: lecture, video examples of seizure assessment, case studies, handout with tips for assessing and documenting seizure activity

Learning objectives:

·         List methods to assess patient alertness and ability to respond

·         Develop skills to document a wide variety of seizure symptoms through astute patient observation

·         Determine which standard treatment options are appropriate for age, seizure type and other contributing factors

·         Discuss future assessment techniques that may be offered in the pre-hospital environment, such as EEG monitoring with telemetry

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Joy of a Great Dad

I am thinking about Father’s Day, and wishing my dad was still here.  He was my best buddy.  I often think about how much he did for me, in terms of building confidence which has helped me get through so many things in life.   My dad was a welder and I was his only daughter.  So, he took me with him to his welding shop from the time I could walk.  He taught me the names of all the tools in his shop.  He showed me how to use tools and always led me to believe that I could do whatever I wanted to do, as well as anyone else.   This is a picture of my daughter sitting on my dad's welding truck, she experienced the same tomboy joys of hanging out with her grandpa.

 We had a little camp on a lake so we always had a boat.  He let me drive the boat from his lap when I was small and showed me how to read a chart to navigate around the lake. I have a boat of my own now, and it is my favorite thing to do in my life.  

I wanted to try to swim for a long distance, so he took out a row boat and followed me and let me swim as long as I could.

Later on, when I was learning to drive, he showed me how to change the oil in a car and how to change a tire, which I ended up actually having to do one winter afternoon on a lonely country road.  He even managed to get me interested in driving motorcycles by letting me use an old dirt bike to practice in the lot behind the shop.

Because he proved to me that I was capable, I grew up willing to take on challenges, and learn new things.  This is how I ended up going to a one-year program to learn EEG technology back in 1978!  And the challenges kept coming, as I progressed through my career: learning how to do IONM, taking on lab management, becoming an instructor then a program director, and then working for ASET!   

Whether you develop your confidence with the help of your family, or do it on your own, the most important message I have for you, is to keep trying and challenge yourself!  Take that new job!  Set a goal of passing a credentialing exam!  Go back to school part time at night and get a degree!  That is how I got my Master’s in Education and it has opened a thousand doors for me!

Keep growing, keep learning!  Never give up!

And I hope you have a loving dad too, and can think of the things he did for you, and celebrate that special person in your life.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Neurodiagnostic Technology Continuing Education: ASET Annual Conference Program New Orleans: Installment #1

I have been working on the ASET 2018 annual conference program since January of this year and I was so very excited when the full program came together! I now have confirmed all sessions and it looks like a lot of fun and a great learning experience!   I also want to thank those of you who submitted abstract applications!  These are a great addition to the program, with a lot of variety in the 20 platform presentations and 18 poster presentations!

I will be highlighting various sessions in the next few blog entries, to share my excitement and build interest in signing up for this conference.  Our registration brochure is going to print will be in the mail to you soon!  We have an electronic version on our website that you may view using this link: 2018 ASET Conference Brochure

I would like to start by introducing our Keynote Speaker, Cynthia Christie, who is a professional speaker and consultant for team-building in the health care industry.  She promises to bring us the most interactive plenary session ever, “Critical Thinking for the Health Care Team: Accelerated Skill Building”!  Everyone in the audience is invited to participate in a unique challenge.   She uses a simulation situation to get small teams to solve a puzzle in three minutes.  Then teams think through what they could do differently to improve their skill as a team, and another round gives them the opportunity to try another approach.   This will be a great way to start the day and get to know other attendees, and to get to know yourself better as well.

Then, our Ellen Grass Lecturer is Dr. Aatif Husain, from Duke University.  Dr. Husain has been active with the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society for years, and is a past president of ACNS.  He has also been very active with ABRET.  He is a strong advocate of technologists, recognizing their high level of skill and their contributions to neurophysiology.  Dr. Husain’s presentation, “Clinical Neurophysiology in the Treatment of Disease” will be a fascinating overview of ways in which neurodiagnostic modalities will be used in new ways in the future.  Dr. Husain has extensive knowledge and experience with many areas of Neurodiagnostics, from EEG to Long Term Monitoring, clinical Evoked Potentials and Intraoperative Neuro Monitoring, and he will inspire us to look to the future of our profession.

The early bird registration rates expire on July 6th so don’t delay, register today!
Please use this link to our conference registration on our website: Conference Registration

Our hotel room block expires on July 17, and we have completely filled our room block in recent years so please make your reservations soon!  The hotel information is at this link:  ASET conference hotel information