Career explorers may be surprised to learn that the technicians monitoring certain vital signs during surgery are not doctors. In fact, although these specialists are highly trained, they can complete their certifications in just a few years, setting them on the path to a well-paying career.
Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IOM) Technologists work in a hospital setting alongside surgeons and anesthesiologists. They are responsible for monitoring the patient’s brain function during operations.
IOM techs must calibrate and adjust monitoring equipment in preparation for surgery. They will apply electrodes to patients, and explain test procedures. During surgery, these techs will update the surgical team regarding the patient’s status, alerting them to any abnormalities or patterns.
The technology used in this monitoring includes electromyography (recording the electrical activity of muscle tissue), somatosensory-evoked potentials (brain and spinal cord responses), and electroencephalography (recording and measurement of the brain’s electrical activity).
They will also document any important events or alterations of patient status to ensure complete medical records are kept regarding the surgery. This information may be helpful to neurologists and physicians during the patient’s recovery.
IOM Technician Salary
IOM Technologists earn an average of $69,352 per year, nationwide. The top earners in this field can make as much as $113,500, according to ZipRecruiter.
By receiving additional certifications and working in the field for several years, IOM techs can reach the upper levels of income in this field.
In Fort Worth, TX, NeuLine Health Management is looking for several electroencephalogram (EEG) techs to set up and disconnect EEG equipment within patient homes.
The Cleveland Clinic in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, is hiring a Registered EEG Technologist to provide monitoring in their laboratory, as well as in the ICU and operating room.
MPOWERHealth is often hiring for IOM Technologist jobs in Fairfax, VA. These roles work directly with patients before and after surgery to perform assessments and promote positive health outcomes.
Training and Certifications
Intraoperative neuromonitoring jobs do not require a medical degree, but they do require specialized training.
IOM technologists are not required to have a Bachelor’s degree. Those that choose to attend a four-year college may want to study a biological science, such as biology, neurobiology, or cellular biology, although they do not have to do so.
IOM techs may also complete an electro-neurodiagnostic technology training program or Associate’s Degree.
After completing their programs, candidates for certification must monitor a certain number of surgical cases. The number varies depending on the certificate and the amount of education the candidate has received. Techs must also have a current CPR certification and Basic Cardiac Life Support certification.
Upon meeting all of these requirements, techs must take a final exam in order to receive their certification. Certifications are available from the American Board of Registered Electro-neurodiagnostic Technologists (ABRET), American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists, and American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine.
Techs can become certified in EEG, evoked potential (EP), neurophysiological intraoperative monitoring (CNIM), long-term monitoring (CLTM), and more.
IOM technologists must then complete regular continuing education to maintain their certifications.