Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

METC NDT trainees learn about brain disorders & care

Image of METC NDT trainees learn about brain disorders & care. METC NDT trainees learn about brain disorders & care

Neurodiagnostic Week, April 18-24, is an annual campaign that serves to bring attention to and acknowledge the efforts of neurodiagnostic professionals around the world. This year in particular has been particularly challenging with the Coronavirus pandemic, as neurodiagnostic technologists (NDT) face additional challenges while remaining committed to providing a high-level of patient care.

NDTs, including those in the military, perform many tests that diagnose problems with the brain and nervous system, as well as sleep disorders. They use state-of-the-art digital equipment to record electrical patterns throughout the brain and nervous system, which result in valuable data that the doctor needs to diagnose and treat their patients. The data gathered from these tests can help diagnose conditions like epilepsy, other seizure disorders, strokes, degenerative brain disease, and traumatic brain injuries, among others. Military NDTs usually work in hospitals and clinics.

Military NDT training is conducted at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Students in the METC NDT program arrive with a medical background, either as a Navy hospital corpsman or Air Force medical technician.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Shishido, service lead and instructor for the METC NDT program, is one of only 48 neuro techs in the entire military.

"The NDT career field is amazing to me," she stated. "We have the autonomy to work independently from a neurologist, and our studies can directly dictate the course of treatment and/or diagnosis."

Military health personnel wearing face mask practicing EEG Air Force Senior Airman Jamila Basit, a student in the Neurodiagnostic Technician program at the Medical Education and Training Campus, practices the electrode application method required for performance of the Electroencephalogram (EEG) on fellow student, Navy Seaman Marcus Falcon (Photo by: Lisa Braun, Medical Education and Training Campus). 

The program is split into two phases. Phase 1 takes place inside the METC medical instructional facility classroom and simulated laboratory where students learn how to use specialized equipment and perform a variety of procedures to diagnose numerous disorders and diseases. One of the most common tests that NDT students learn is the electroencephalograms (EEG), used to assess brain activity. Students also learn how to perform other tests that detect and record magnetic fields in the brain, track brain and nerve function during surgery, and diagnose sleep disorders.

In phase 2, students transition to both civilian and military medical treatment facility (MTF) in the local San Antonio area, where they conduct the clinical portion of the training that includes hands-on patient care. This portion of the course provides students practical experience with hands-on patient care, enhancing their medical knowledge and proficiency. This training prepares students to exercise judgment and accept responsibility in performing diagnostic procedures while performing patient care.

Additionally, METC NDT students are afforded an opportunity to challenge a national certification exam and graduate as registered EEG technologists.

Air Force Senior Airman Christine Smith, a student in the program, was first introduced to NDT when she attended a career fair while enrolled in the METC Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice program.

"I enjoy being able to specialize and be able to learn about various brain disorders and how to diagnose them," Smith said. "I have always been fascinated with the human mind and am now very excited to learn all about the human brain!"

You also may be interested in...

Publication
Feb 23, 2024

Assessment and Management of Dizziness and Visual Disturbances Following Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

.PDF | 1.03 MB

This clinical recommendation provides medical staff with a single, comprehensive reference for the assessment and management of dizziness and visual disturbances following mild TBI/concussion. Dizziness and visual disturbances often present with overlapping symptoms and should prompt a provider to perform a visual and dizziness—or vestibular—assessment.

Publication
Feb 23, 2024

Progressive Return to Activity: Primary Care for Acute Concussion Management

.PDF | 472.50 KB

This clinical recommendation is an evidence-based return to activity protocol for primary care managers and concussion/traumatic brain injury clinic providers. The PRA is a six-step approach that begins after the provider performs the MACE 2 (Military Acute Concussion Evaluation 2) and the patient is diagnosed with a concussion, also known as a mild TBI.

Report
Feb 22, 2024

2000-2023 Q3 DOD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 1.47 MB

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury data in the U.S. military. Here you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis from calendar year 2000 through the third quarter of calendar year 2023. The data is also broken ...

Report
Feb 22, 2024

2023 Q3 DOD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 1.29 MB

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury data in the U.S. military. Here you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis in the third quarter of calendar year 2023. The data is also broken down by each branch of the ...

Report
Feb 22, 2024

2022 DOD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

.PDF | 1.19 MB

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury data in the U.S. military. Here you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis in the calendar year 2022. The data is also broken down by each branch of the armed services.

Calendar Event
Feb 16, 2024

Virtual Reality, "Walk and Talk" Therapy, and Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories: How Novel Interventions Can Improve the Care of Post-traumatic Stress

A NICOE educational offering with a guest speaker on Virtual Reality, "Walk and Talk" Therapy, and Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories - part of 2024 BIAM event lineup.

Topic
Feb 8, 2024

Education & Training

Education and training resources for personnel across the Military Health System.

Infographic
Feb 8, 2024

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Infographic

Brain Injury Awareness Month infographic, visit health.mil/BIAMonth.

Even a mild traumatic brain injury can impact mission readiness and the ability to deploy. #BeABrainWarrior by understanding the signs and symptoms of TBI and knowing when to seek care. TBI is treatable and recovery is possible. https://health.mil/BIAMonth #BIAMonth

Article Around MHS
Feb 5, 2024

U.S. Army Medical Research & Development Command Supports Development of Blast Injury Prevention Standard

 Researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research used data collected during live fire training exercises to create accurate 3D simulations of blast overpressure exposures on virtual weapons crews to help training range managers, range safety officers and instructors position personnel to minimize their exposure to shock waves created by the firing of heavy weapons. The color coding indicates the blast pressure intensity as the wave expands and dissipates.

A new tool being developed by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command’s DOD Blast Injury Research Coordinating Office will help Service Members protect themselves from the effects of high-pressure shock waves created by heavy weapons when they are fired during training.

Video
Jan 31, 2024

Be a Brain Warrior: Protect. Treat. Optimize.

Be a Brain Warrior: Protect. Treat. Optimize.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence is championing the theme 'Be a Brain Warrior: Protect, Treat, Optimize' during Brain Injury Awareness Month. The theme showcases the idea that service members, veterans, healthcare providers, caregivers, family members, and advocates can be warriors for brain health. Visit health.mil/BIAMonth to learn more.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery