Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Call for Neurodiagnostic related Abstracts for the ASET Annual Conference - Deadline Extended!

ASET's 60th Anniversary Annual Conference will take place in Kansas City, MO on August 15-17, 2019.  We are seeking abstracts: both platform and poster for presentation at this event!  Read on!

What is an abstract and why should I consider authoring one?

An abstract is a short descriptive statement that explains a larger work or presentation.  The ASET annual conference program includes platform (oral) and poster abstract presentations.  An abstract presentation provides an opportunity to share innovative ideas, new techniques and interesting case studies. 

When completing an abstract application form for the ASET annual conference, you are required to include a 100-200 word abstract to be included with the application.  The abstract is essentially a proposal that explains what you intend to present.  The ASET Program Committee will review all abstracts to ensure that content is appropriate and there is no conflict of interest.  Once accepted by the program committee, I will notify you of acceptance, and I will assign you a presentation time if a platform abstract.  Platform presentations slots are 30 minutes long.  We recommend that you end your presentation with 5 minutes to spare, to allow time for questions. 

For poster abstract presenters I will provide a schedule of poster viewing times.  We ask poster abstract presenters to stay with their posters during these official viewing times, to interact with attendees and give them time to chat with you about your topic.

What are the advantages of presenting an abstract?

·         You will get free meeting registration for the day of your presentation

·         Your abstract will be published in the December issue of the ASET Journal, “The Neurodiagnostic Journal”.  This means that your abstract will also appear in larger bodies of scientific data, such as PubMed.  You will be a “published author” and can be included in your curriculum vitae.

·         Your audience will benefit from the sharing of information and opportunity to hear new ideas and network to provide the best neurodiagnostic services possible.

·         You’ll have an opportunity to try public speaking with a very short presentation, sharing something you know, to build your confidence in a supportive environment.

Tips for writing an abstract:
Be concise:  you only have 100-200 words!

Answer these questions:

·         What is the importance or reason for your research, project or case study?

·         What problem does this work highlight and attempt to solve?

·         What methods did you use?

·         What were your results?

·         What are the implications or advantages of your work?

  I encourage you to complete an abstract application prior to the March 15 deadline for submission.  You can access the on-line application version at our website, and you can upload the abstract during the application process.  We cannot consider including abstract applications unless an abstract is attached.  Please use this link: ASET 2019 abstract application

What’s your idea?

I’d love to hear from you!  If you have questions or wish to run an idea by me, please contact me directly at faye@aset.org

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Neurophysiology 101: Learning the 10/20 system of head measurement and lead placement: How and Why

Many years ago, the ABRET EEG exam included an oral exam which included several sections, including record review, EEG pattern recognition and a demonstration of skill at measuring a head and placing leads accurately.  When I took the exam in 1980, volunteer subjects served as the candidates’ patients, and we actually ran a real EEG recording as part of the exam.  Eventually, the live subject process was no longer practical and ABRET substituted a “Sam” mannequin head, and candidate had to measure and apply leads to Sam instead.

In more recent years, the oral section of the ABRET exam ended for many valid reasons, and a two-part, written only exam replaced the oral exam.  For the past year, the EEG registry exam has been offered in one-part. 

Once the exam no longer included a practical demonstration of head measurement and lead placement skills, an apparent misconception surfaced, that this was not an important part of the EEG recording process.  However, both ABRET and ASET have always stressed that measuring the patient’s head prior to lead placement is an essential part of the patient set-up. 
Occasionally, an attendee at the ASET EEG Boot Camp inquires about a 10/20 head measurement/lead placement workshop as part of the seminar.  We used to include such a workshop but it was very difficult to maintain and ship enough Sam heads to make this workshop “work”.  We also found that many seminar attendees were not interested in participating.  So, in recent years, we replaced that time in the seminar with additional lectures and instrumentation workshops.  But, once again, I would like to emphasize that we at ASET promote head measurement as a very important part of the lead placement process, and accurate electrode placement is vital!

There is a full on-line curriculum of EEG coursework created by ASET and available as individual courses on the ASET website.  One of the courses is EEG 202: Electrodes, Electrode Placement and Application.  I am pleased to announce that we have just upgraded the content of this course!  
Maureen Carroll, the ASET On-line Course Developer, worked on creating a professional video tutorial on the skills of head measurement and lead placement.  She spent many hours scripting the video, and working with a media studio to film the demonstration.  This video is 40 minutes in duration and offers a step by step overview of the process, and has been uploaded as a lesson in the on-line course. 

I can highly recommend this course for entry level technologists and trainees!  You will benefit from the coaching and detail included.  Enrollees can revisit the video as often as they wish while learning this skill.  The course offers 20 ASET CEUs, meaning that there is at least 20 contact hours of course material, and the registration fee is $199 for ASET members and $299 for non-members. To view the course in our on-line store, please use this link:  ASETon-line EEG courses

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