Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why I call this course EEG Boot Camp

I came up with this title for the ASET EEG Seminar Course because I want to convey that the two days are packed with information and many opportunities to practice skills, sort of like drills at boot camp!  The more you practice something, the more familiar you become with the concepts and skills required to complete the task!
Here is the definition of “Boot Camp” according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary:  “a program or situation that helps people become much better at doing something in a short period of time”.  I think that defines the goal that ASET has when offering this course.   Of necessity, the course contact hours total 6 or 7 hours each day, with short breaks and a 50 minute lunch.  Occasionally, I will come across an attendee evaluation with a suggestion to extend the seminar to three days, to make it easier to absorb all of the information.  Unfortunately, for most staff technologists attending, trying to attend a course for three days presents additional challenges that are difficult to overcome:  the extra cost of another night’s hotel lodging and meals, time away from work and home, etc.
So, we stick with the two day format, and strive to customize learning for each course participant in the workshop sessions.  However, I have updated and adjusted the seminar content a bit to keep up with recent changes in the ABRET exam process.  Now that the EEG registry exam is administered as two separate written exams, I have altered the way we teach key skills.  I will always advocate for accurate placement of leads according to the 10/20 system, and measuring and marking each patient’s head prior to lead placement.  But the 10/20 hands-on workshop, with participants measuring Sam heads, has lost the interest of most course participants.  So, instead, I will offer access to the ASET on-line course on the 10/20 system at half price for anyone who attends the EEG Boot Camp. I will still include a short session on the 10/20 system to discuss techniques, practice calculations and advocate for this practice. 
I found that we needed to add more pattern recognition presentations and workshops.  The range of patterns that a technologist must recognize in order to do well on the exam is quite impressive.  One must be familiar with all of the normal variants, normal adult, pediatric and neonatal EEG patterns, and abnormalities related to seizures, neurological disorders, and coma.  Because so many technologists do not have the advantage of reading sessions with their docs, this is a key area of skill building that we can do together.
It is very important to understand that a two-day course cannot give you all the information you need to pass an exam or perform EEGs with a high level of skill.  It is only a starting point.  Entry level techs and those studying to take an exam need to put in a great deal of time and effort into reading and learning. 

But EEG Boot Camp is a great starting point!  The next EEG Boot Camp will be on Nov. 8 & 9, on the campus of the Concorde Career College, in Grand Prairie, TX.  We have a block of rooms at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel in Arlington, TX and a free shuttle service from the hotel to the college.  Please note that the early bird registration rate expires on Oct. 8, and the hotel room block expires on Oct. 28, so make your plans now!  Attendee information, including the course schedule, hotel information and our seminar registration form can be accessed via this link:

I hope to see you in Texas, for the next ASET EEG Boot Camp.  Be all that you can be!  Join me!