Thursday, March 29, 2012

Educational Resources for EEG Monitoring in the ICU

Continuous EEG monitoring in the ICU is becoming the standard of care for treating patients with critical neurological injuries.  The demand for this service is on the rise.  As we strive to expand our services in this arena, we find that there just are not enough resources available.  The problem is not just limited to equipment, but to the human element.  Who is watching all these continuous EEGs in critically ill patients?  How quickly are significant patterns recognized and how fast is treatment initiated when EEG findings indicate a need for intervention?  We all agree that there are not enough skilled neurodiagnostic technologists to cover all cases 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all institutions. 

The ICU nurses are interacting with us, our recording equipment and the neuro-intensivists as they deliver care to their patients.  There is a distinct advantage to working with our nurses to help provide high quality, effective neuro monitoring in the ICU.  If a nurse can identify a lead that needs maintenance, or know when to ask for urgent review of an EEG file, an added benefit will be that perhaps we will not have to return to the ICU in the middle of the night to fix a lead or troubleshoot equipment!  The patient outcome will improve also!
Last year, ASET had a booth in the Exhibit Hall of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses Annual Conference.  We received a lot of interest and the most common comment we heard was:  “I need some help learning what to do with the bedside EEG”.  So, we have been working on two specific educational resources to help ICU nurses and also technologists who are just getting started with this type of monitoring.

Next month, we plan to publish a bedside EEG manual that will have EEG samples from ICU cases in an atlas-like format, and include technical information about electrodes, placement, basic equipment, and trending software.  It will be spiral bound so that specific pages can be kept open right at the patient’s bedside.   The book is titled:  “EEG Pattern Recognition for the Bedside Caregiver: Continuous EEG in Adult Patients”.  A group of technologists, headed by Lucy Sullivan, the ASET Publications Director, worked very hard to compile this book.  I think it will be a great resource!  There will be an announcement on the home page of our website when this publication is ready to order.

We also have scheduled an extended webinar for May 10th and 11th, on the topic of
“ICU Continuous EEG Monitoring: An Introduction for LTM Technologists & ICU Nurses”.  We have booked nationally recognized experts in ICU monitoring to participate as faculty.To view the entire webinar schedule, please click here.

Please let your ICU nursing team know about this wonderful opportunity!  This webinar will be recorded and can be purchased for future use, for those who cannot participate in the live event.

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