What interested you in END?
I started at Cleveland Clinic in 1978 as an EKG technician/trainer for 7 years. In 1984 I transferred to neurology in the epilepsy department. Neurology at that time was already diverse and cross training the technical staff in sleep, intra-operative monitoring, and evoked potential.
What physical and/or soft skills do you need to have to succeed?
Physically you must be mobile, be able to move patients and keep patients safe. When working with the epilepsy patient if and when a patient seizes they don’t have control over their body movements or their mind. You have to be quick and think in these emergent situations. The soft skills would be having empathy and compassion for the patients. Provide good care no matter how you feel. This disorder affects a patient’s quality of life. It’s important to be sensitive and listen to the patients’ needs.
What advice would you give to interested high school students?
Going into the END field is ideal because of the high diversity level and flexibility. You can market yourself in five different venues, all of which are flexible. Some of the END venues offer day shifts, night shifts or variable hours. I would absolutely recommend shadowing for this career to get an overview of the job responsibilities and expected skills.
What interested you in working at Cleveland Clinic?
I liked that Cleveland Clinic offered on the job training opportunities, advancement, and ongoing education.
What excites you about END?
I really enjoy the diversity, also the fact that there is growth and opportunity in all five venues.
What has been your most gratifying experience as an END Technician?
A long time ago, probably back in the late 1980’s, there was a young man 17 or 18 years old who had intractable epilepsy. At this time we did not have a monitoring unit, and the department chair wanted to expand the department and offer better care for this population. The hospital was just starting to perform temporal lobectomies and agreed that there was a need. This patient was the first to have this procedure done at Cleveland Clinic. A grid was placed in the patients head, and the staff took turns monitoring him 24 hours a day to determine where the epilepsy focus was. The temporal lobectomy procedure worked, and this young man was able to lead a normal life seizure free. There are now multiple Epilepsy Monitoring units for both adult and pediatric patients suffering from epilepsy. Being a pioneer in this kind of ground breaking opportunity is very rewarding. Cleveland Clinic embraces innovations. There is always growth and development at Cleveland Clinic.
What career options do you have in this field?
You have the option to be a tech, an educator, work leader, or a manager in each of the following venues: epilepsy, sleep, intra-operative monitoring, EMG and Evoke Potentials.