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Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring

Occupational Description

Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) is the allied health profession that continuously records, monitors, and analyzes nervous system function in an effort to increase the safety and effectiveness of surgical treatment of pathologic conditions. Intraoperative neuromonitorists perform these duties in the operating room during a variety of surgical procedures that pose risk to the central or peripheral nervous system. 

Job Description

Most neuromonitorists work in the operating room where they interact with operating room nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists and neurophysiologists. Working with the surgical team, the neuromonitorist performs one or more electrophysiological techniques during surgery. Intraoperative neuromonitoring enhances patient safety, and may allow a more comprehensive surgical procedure. 

Employment Characteristics

Neuromonitorists work in a surgical setting. Neuromonitorists are employed either directly by an hospital or by a company that provides intraoperative neuromonitoring services to a variety of hospitals. 

Educational Programs

Education is typically provided in a college or university setting. Some programs, especially those that require experience as a neurodiagnostic technologist or previous higher education, may award a certificate. Programs sponsored by a university may lead to a BS or graduate degree. IONM education programs include a required clinical rotation in the operating room.

The curriculum includes study of the biological and physical sciences. as well as intraoperative neuromonitoring theory and laboratory courses, and clinical education. The biological sciences focus on musculoskeletal and neuro-anatomy, and neurophysiology, while the physical sciences focus on physics.