The purpose of this document is to define the Scope of Practice for Neurodiagnostic technologists and to specify their role as members of the healthcare team. The Scope of Practice document is governed by changes in patient care, and as education and technology expand. The Scope of Practice defined in this document describes the breadth of practice within Neurodiagnostic Technology. The references listed provide detailed information. Levels of education, experience, skill and proficiency with respect to the activities identified vary among individual technologists. A Neurodiagnostic technologist can, but does not typically, practice in all modalities of Neurodiagnostics. Neurodiagnostic technologists may advance their current level of practice by pursuing additional education and credentialing to meet the needs of their expanding role.
This Scope of Practice document does not supersede state licensure laws or affect the interpretation or implementation of such laws if they so exist. It may, however, serve as a model for the development or modification of licensure laws and it should serve as a concise outline of Neurodiagnostic Technology skill sets, experience and responsibilities.
Scope of Practice
Neurodiagnostics is the allied health care profession that records, monitors, and analyzes nervous system function to promote the effective treatment of pathologic conditions. Technologists record electrical activity arising from the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, somatosensory or motor nerve systems using a variety of techniques and instruments. Technologists prepare data and documentation for interpretation by a physician. Considerable individual initiative, reasoning skill, and sound judgment are all expected of the Neurodiagnostic technologist. These duties are performed in a manner consistent with technologists’ training, education, experience and credentialing under the direction of administrative and clinical leadership as defined by facility policies and procedures.
Neurodiagnostic procedures include but are not limited to:
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- Evoked Potentials (EP)
- Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
- Polysomnography/Sleep Technology (PSG)
- Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM)
- Long Term Monitoring (LTM)
- Intensive Care Unit Continuous EEG monitoring (ICU/cEEG)
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
- Autonomic Function Testing
Neurodiagnostic competencies define the areas of specialty practice and were developed in part, by recommendations in the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS) Guidelines. https://www.acns.org/practice/guidelines
ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society provides national competencies for the above listed Neurodiagnostic procedures. http://www.aset.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3612
Education, Training and Examination:
Formal Neurodiagnostic Technology Education:
Many Neurodiagnostic programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) with both seated and distance educational programs available. Primary Neurodiagnostic education is offered through certificates and/or degrees with 1- and 2- and 4-year options available. Neurodiagnostic education in both seated and distance learning environments are available.
Bachelor degrees or higher levels of education promote the development of advanced skills and knowledge in this profession. https://www.aset.org/i4a/pages/index.cfmpageid=3584#Bachelor’s%20Degree%20Programs
CAAHEP accredits Neurodiagnostic Programs with the following elective add-ons: EP, IONM, LTM, NCS and PSG, as well as stand-alone full Programs in IONM. The Committee on Accreditation for Neurodiagnosttic Technology (CoA-NDT) and the Committee on Accreditation for Polysomnography (CoA-PSG) are the CAAHEP arms that review programs and make recommendations for CAAHEP accreditation.
The Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) awards a Polysomnography Certificate as an elective add-on to Respiratory Therapy programs. http://www.coarc.com
Continuing Education: Documentation of ongoing continuing education is a requirement to maintain technologist registry and certification. ASET is one resource for continuing education, offering a variety of educational products, a quarterly journal, webinars, and distance education as well as national and regional workshops. www.aset.org
Examination: National organizations offer examination for registry and/or certification to demonstrate competence in all specialties of the profession. http://www.aset.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3481
Current Levels of Practice in Neurodiagnostics
All Neurodiagnostic Practice Levels must be in compliance with state law for health and safety code. All levels of practice must be in compliance with The Joint Commission (TJC) standards for additional special procedures and with the policies and procedures of the facility. Facility specific competencies should be in place with documented annual competence for all practice levels.
Qualified Neurodiagnostic Professionals Technologists are credentialed; have met a minimum education and related educational and performance standards; meet continuing education requirements; perform within a code of ethics and defined scope of practice; perform under the direction of clinical leadership or a physician; are recognized by physicians, employers, the public, governmental agencies, payers and other health care professionals; form a national society whose activities include lobbying advocating for the profession and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in neuroscience. ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society includes practice level descriptions within the job description guidelines.
Handbook of Neurodiagnostic Job Descriptions and Competencies, ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society, Kansas City, MO (ISBN # 978-1-57797-075-0)
— Approved by the ASET Board of Trustees, July 20, 2020
To read the next update on a new Position State recently approved by the ASET Board, click on the Next Page button here.