Below are comments from some of our students.
Deven Coons, Summer 2017 Graduate
My name is Deven Coons, a former student in the Intraoperative Neuromonitoring program at the University of Connecticut. I just finished the program July 7, 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am currently in the process of being hired by Safe Passage as a Neurophysiologist. What I will be doing is monitoring the nervous system of patients coming in for spine, vascular, ear nose and throat and cranial surgeries. To explain what we do in simpler terms, if you have ever played the game “Operation”, we are the buzzer. My experience in the six week IONM program was intense but rewarding, we learned a lot of neuroanatomy and physiology in a condensed amount of time as well as all the different modalities used in IONM as a clinician. Although it was intense, I enjoyed every day of it because it fascinated me. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to be a part of this program. I think that this program builds a great foundation for a career in IONM.
Monique Mai, Summer 2017 Graduate
My experience during the University of Connecticut’s six-week Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Graduate Certificate Program was equally challenging, stimulating and rewarding. Through this program, I have learned how the human body’s nervous system functions in health and disease. The courses we took provided me with a fundamental understanding of recording signals, main neuromonitoring modalities, and common surgeries employing neuromonitoring techniques. I was trained in intraoperative neuromonitoring recording machines, writing protocols and using simulator programs that represent examples of signal acquisition in a laboratory setting. Through these courses, I know I am equipped with the skills and confidence to excel in such a stimulating and challenging field.
I am currently applying for neurophysiologist-trainee positions to complete my 150 cases in an intraoperative setting and to apply what I learn to my career. I plan to take the certification in Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring within the next year. I am excited to be a successful neurophysiologist that can develop her own talents to be an integral part of surgery and patient care.
Lindsay Joslyn, Summer 2015 Graduate
The 6-week Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Graduate Certificate (IONM) Program at UConn was both challenging and enlightening. It provided an in-depth education and experience in a growing field of medicine. The course was taught by accomplished professors, whose careers have been dedicated to medicine and the neuro-sciences but who were able to make the concentrated material clear and practicable. The courses provided a solid foundation from which the determined student could succeed in the fast-paced world of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring.
I am currently working as a Neurophysiologist, EEG technologist employed by Safe Passage Neuromonitoring at Hartford Hospital. I greet patients, prepare them for their EEG, perform the test and then give my comments to the reading doctor. Every day I am helping someone new get closer to the medical answers that they are looking for. Each patient is unique, with their own story. Their care is important to me and providing them with this service gives me a wonderful quality of life at work. I also enjoy the fast-paced, high-pressure atmosphere of performance in a hospital. When I leave for the day I know I have accomplished something that will ultimately aid in helping someone else.
Hannah Perna, Summer 2015 Graduate
My experience during the 6-week UConn program in the IONM Graduate Certificate Program was a very positive one. I learned about a whole new field I had previously not even heard of. Intraoperative Neuromonitoring is an integral part of surgery and patient care. The courses helped me prepare for my current job in IONM with Safe Passage Neurmonitoring; I learned all the anatomy of the brain, spinal cord, and pathways. In addition I was able to connect this information with intraoperative monitoring and the modalities used in monitoring the patient during surgery. My current position is a neurophysiologist. Since just starting in IONM this past year, I mostly monitor spine cases. Before each case, I go see the patient in pre-op and explain to them my job of neuromonitoring and learn about the patient’s history and symptoms. From there I go the operating room and set up my machine and needles to prepare for the patient to enter the room. After the patient is sedated under anesthesia I begin to place my subdermal needs, often in the head, upper and lower extremity muscles, and nerves at the ankles and wrists. After all of the needles are placed, I begin my monitoring, which can consist of EMG, SSEP, and MEP, depending on the surgery and surgeons request. I continue monitoring throughout the entire case, communicating with the surgeon about the signals during the whole procedure. I remain in the operating room until the patient wakes up and I check to make sure he/she is moving all extremities. My job is very rewarding and self-satisfying knowing that the patient relies on my monitoring during the surgery to prevent postoperative deficits. My job is based off of trust; trust from the surgeon, the patient, and the patient’s family. I look forward going to the hospital everyday.