Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Building Neurodiagnostic Education to address the shortage of qualified technologists

We have been aware of a nation-wide shortage of highly skilled technologists for a very long time.  In my role,  I get calls all the time from employers who just can’t find the techs they need to fill open positions and from people who would like to pursue a career in neurodiagnostics but who do not have access to a Neurodiagnostic Program in their area.  The on-line programs alleviate this problem somewhat, but there are very large areas of the country, covering many states, that do not have one single neurodiagnostic technology training program!  The on-line schools also have some difficulty recruiting out-of-state students who do not qualify for in-state student loans.
At this time ASET lists 30 schools in the USA, and 23 of these schools are currently CAAHEP accredited.
2011 is the last year that CAAHEP has statistics available regarding graduates of these programs, and that year 180 NDT technologists graduated.
The Washington Post currently has 778 Neurodiagnostic Technologist positions listed in their on-line job search website.  So, we are far from able to fill all job openings with our new graduates.
So, what to do?  How can we build more new programs?  The ASET Formal Education Task Force has created a “Dean’s Packet”.  This packet includes a cover letter addressed to a Dean, and a seven page document that provides an overview of pertinent statistics that a Dean would require to justify the opening of a new program.  The statistics include locations of current schools, salary statistics, ABRET exam statistics and other key facts that help to illustrate the state of our profession.  If you are aware of a community college in your area that might be willing to consider opening a new course of study, or has a grant or mission to address needs of the local community, and you would like to reach out to a Dean with this information, please contact me directly and I will send you a copy of the packet items via e-mail.
We are hoping to build a database of contacts at colleges that do not yet have a program in Neurodiagnostics, so any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.
My e-mail address is: faye@aset.org and I welcome your comments, queries and suggestions.