EEG technicians use an electroencephalograph (EEG machine) to measure the electrical activity of the brain. The records obtained are then used by specialists to diagnose conditions such as epilepsy, damage to the brain as well as for research in the neurological, psychological and psychiatric fields.
EEG technicians must be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal readings. They need to be able to react appropriately in emergency situations. They must also manage the laboratory and maintain the apparatus. EEG technicians prepare the information for the analysis, interpretation and writing of reports which are done by experts, who may be neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychologists or psychiatrists.
After a patient has been reassured and helped to relax, electrodes are selected and placed on the patient’s scalp in standard locations. Each examination takes approximately 30 minutes and techniques which activate the brain, such as a bright flickering light or deep breathing, are usually included. While the electrical activity of the brain is being recorded, the technician observes and records the patient’s behaviour. The EEG technician records details such as age, head injuries, diseases and present symptoms.
EEG technicians are also responsible for the classification and filing of reports, arranging of appointments, ordering of supplies and maintenance of equipment. They normally work regular hours, but when emergency situations arise, they may be expected to work overtime.