Focus on High-Demand Careers: Mindful

Kelly Hackbarth

Focus on High-Demand Careers: Mindful

Fall 2017

| By: Britten, Casey

Neurodiagnostic technologists are enjoying rewarding careers in the fast-growing field of studying brain waves.

Two years ago, Kelly Hackbarth, manager of neurodiagnostic services at ThedaCare, was having difficulty hiring qualified neurodiagnostic technologists. “These qualified technologists perform testing of the central and/or peripheral nervous systems,” she explains. “Their assistance is critical in diagnosing a neurological condition or disorder.”

ThedaCare is one of the largest healthcare systems in Wisconsin and a strong partner with Fox Valley Technical College. “I approached Fox Valley Tech to address a shortage of qualified practitioners in this field,” notes Hackbarth. “There are no other schools that offer a neurodiagnostic degree in the state. After meeting with health science educators at FVTC, they started working with ThedaCare to develop a solid program.” 

New instructor Heidi Hartle looks forward to preparing students for careers in the field. “This career is both rewarding and challenging,” she notes. “It’s an exciting time to provide trained technologists for a profession that is in major need of specialized skills.” Hartle received her training through Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and she brings experience from working as a neurodiagnostic technologist at Prevea Health in Green Bay.

Students in the new Neurodiagnostic Technologist associate degree program this fall are learning skills needed to effectively monitor, study and record electrical activity from the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles during neurological testing and surgical procedures. “Graduates will have the ability to work with innovative technologies while exercising professional skills in patient communications and case management,” adds Hackbarth.