Electroencephalogram (EEG) technicians operate specialized medical devices that scan a patient’s brain to show electrical activity, which can help doctors diagnose a range of neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. Many technicians choose to earn a certification to help them gain experience with EEG machines and show employers they have the necessary qualifications for these jobs. If you’re interested in a career as an EEG technician, it’s helpful to know the different certifications you can earn to help you be successful.
In this article, we define EEG certifications, explain the benefits of getting these credentials and provide a list of seven certifications you can earn.
What are EEG certifications?
EEG certifications are professional credentials that show a neurodiagnostic technician has the skills and knowledge to operate EEG machines, which are medical devices that chart brainwaves to help physicians identify neurological, brain, and sleep disorders. Many clinics and hospitals require their EEG technicians to receive a professional certification within a set time after their hiring date, such as one year. Most certifications require technicians to have a combination of education or work experience to be eligible for the exam. Technicians may also have to meet other requirements to earn a certification, such as basic life support or CPR training.
Benefits of earning EEG certifications
An EEG certification can help neurodiagnostic professionals show employers they have the skills to do their jobs effectively. Earning an EEG certification can help these technicians:
Meet job requirements: Some employers may require their EEG technicians to become certified, so earning this credential can help them meet this requirement.
Gain experience: Getting a certification can help EEG technicians gain experience in the field and learn skills to operate EEG machines and work with patients.
Demonstrate their competency: An EEG certification can show employers that a technician has demonstrated competency in this field.
Expand their job search: Having an EEG certification can make a technician eligible for more positions, which can expand their job search.
Advance their career: Earning additional certifications, such as an advanced certification for nervous system disorder testing, allows EEG technicians to learn new skills that can help them advance in their careers.
7 types of EEG certifications to earn
Those interested in becoming a certified EEG technician typically pursue credentials through the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists (AAET) or the American Board of Registration for Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). Here’s a look at seven certifications offered through these two highly recognized organizations:
1. Registered Nerve Conduction Study Technologist (R.NCS.T.)
The Registered Nerve Conduction Study Technologist (R.NCS.T.) certification is the only EEG credential offered by the AAET. Technicians can qualify for the certification under two pathways. The first requires one year of professional experience, while the second requires candidates to be a graduate of a neurodiagnostic technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Under both pathways, candidates must show proof of 100 patient encounters or 30 continuing education credits through the AAET.
In addition to eligibility requirements, the AAET also requires technicians to submit a statement from their supervising physician that says they don’t perform invasive examinations or provide a copy of a superseding certificate that allows these procedures. If a candidate meets these requirements, they can apply to take the R.NCS.T. exam, which is a 250-question written test that evaluates a technician’s knowledge of physiology and anatomy, nerve conduction study principles, and stimulation principles.
2. Registered Electroencephalographic Technologist (R. EEG T.)
The ABRET offers this certification for healthcare professionals who are practicing EEG technology. Technicians can become eligible for the certification through four pathways, which require candidates to be either:
A graduate of a CAAHEP-accredited neurodiagnostic technology program with documentation of 50 EEGs and current basic life support (BLS) or CPR certifications
A professional with a certificate of completion from an ABRET-recognized program with documentation of 100 EEGs and current BLS or CPR certifications
A graduate with an associate degree or a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) certification with one year of clinical EEG experience, documentation of 150 EEGs, 30 EEG credits through the Neurodiagnostic Society (ASET) and current BLS or CPR certifications
A professional with four years of clinical EEG experience with documentation of 150 EEGs, 60 EEG credits through the ASET and current BLS or CPR certifications
If a candidate meets the requirements, they can apply to take the R. EEG T. exam, which comprises multiple-choice questions and takes about four hours to complete. The exam covers topics such as preparing patients, ensuring data integrity, identifying waveforms and providing analysis. Candidates who pass the exam earn the certification, which is valid for five years.
3. Certification in Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring (CNIM)
This ABRET certification is a good choice for technicians who have advanced knowledge of neurodiagnostic procedures. A technician can meet the requirements for this certification in one of four ways:
Earning a CAAHEP diploma from a neurological intraoperative monitoring (NIOM) program with documentation of 100 NIOM cases and current BLS or CPR certifications
Having a current R. EEG T. certification with documentation of 150 NIOM cases and current BLS or CPR certifications
Having a bachelor’s degree with documentation of 150 NIOM cases, 30 educational hours and current BLS or CPR certifications
Receiving a certificate of completion from an ABRET-recognized program and providing documentation of 150 NIOM cases and current BLS or CPR certifications
Candidates who meet these requirements can apply to take the exam, which is a four-hour test with multiple-choice questions. The exam evaluates a technician’s knowledge of fundamental neurological concepts, intraoperative phases and post-operative phases. Professionals who earn this certification can renew it every five years.
4. Certified Long-Term Monitoring Technologist (CLTM)
EEG technicians can earn this ABRET certification if they already have the R. EEG T. certification and at least one year of neurophysiological long-term monitoring experience following their EEG certification. The organization also requires candidates to provide proof of 50 long-term monitoring cases and their current BLS or CPR certifications. The exam for this certification includes questions on pre-study preparation, monitoring techniques and post-study procedures. Professionals can renew their CLTM certification after five years.
5. Certified Autonomic Professional (CAP)
The Certified Autonomic Professional (CAP certification) from ABRET is a good choice for technicians who have knowledge and experience with autonomic testing for nervous system disorders. Professionals can qualify for the certification under two pathways:
An associate degree and one year of clinical autonomic testing experience with documentation of 20 autonomic cases, at least three autonomic-related educational activities in the past three years and current BLS or CPR certifications
Two years of clinical autonomic testing experience with documentation of 40 autonomic cases, a minimum of three autonomic-related educational activities within the last three years and current BLS or CPR certifications
Candidates for the CAP certification also take a four-hour exam with multiple-choice questions. The exam evaluates the professional’s knowledge of patient assessment, preparation, patient tests and testing factors. The certification is valid for five years.
6. Certification for Magnetoencephalography Technologists (CMEG)
This ABRET certification requires technicians to have their R. EEG T. credential, at least six months of supervised experience, documentation of 25 evoked cases or 50 spontaneous cases, and current BLS or CPR certifications. Candidates for this certification complete 12 modules and quizzes before taking the final proctored exam. The modules cover various areas, including the helium transfer process, basic magnetoencephalography principles, and data acquisition. Candidates must achieve passing scores of 80% or higher on all module quizzes before taking the final exam. Professionals with this certification can renew it every five years by completing 15 hours of continuing education.
7. Certificate in NeuroAnalyst-CLTM (NA-CLTM)
This ABRET certification is for technicians who have at least one year of experience with neurophysiological long-term monitoring. Candidates can meet the eligibility requirements for the certification in two ways:
Having a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience as a CLTM technologist with documentation of 50 technical reports and 30 advanced long-term monitoring continuing education credits
Having three years of experience as a CLTM technologist with documentation of 50 technical reports and 50 advanced long-term monitoring continuing education credits
Technicians who meet the requirements can apply to take the exam, which tests their knowledge of case presentations and EEG patterns. The exam covers topics such as recording parameters, seizure semiology, and electrographic findings. The NA-CLTM certification is valid for five years.
I hope you find this article helpful.