Mickey Robbe, an electroneurodiagnostic technologist with the Minnesota Comprehensive Epilepsy program housed at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, talks about her work.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
A: I work primarily with epilepsy patients who have seizures that aren't under control despite medication and may be candidates for surgery. I hook up patients to video and audio monitoring equipment, monitor their brain wave activities, and try to induce seizures or events. I comb through data, extract important information and draw the physician's attention to urgent information. In the operating room, we can implant electrodes onto the brain, or I can assist the neurosurgeon with determining an area of the brain to remove. Other tests I perform determine dominance for speech and memory. I record the EEG in the OR and assist the interventional radiologist there. Our goal is for patients to be seizure-free after drugs or after surgery.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger health care picture?
A: I provide information the doctors need to help treat and care for the patient.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
A: I interact with my peers; neurologists who specialize in epilepsy; nursing staff; nurse managers; patients; families; and Abbott Northwestern staff, including surgeons and their support staff, interventional neuroradiology and their staff.
Q: Why did you become an electroneurodiagnostic technologist?
A: I was interested in the medical field and was talking to another student at my high school who was going into this program. My parents had passed away and I didn't have much support and needed something I could learn quickly. I went to school for EEG for a year, then started here and did additional training.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: I like the patient care. I get to see the difference that we make.