What is a Neurophysiology Technician?
Neurophysiology is concerned with the investigation of function in the central and peripheral nervous system. If you’re a healthcare scientist working in neurophysiology, you’ll be a specialist practitioner investigating the function of the nervous system to diagnose and monitor neurological disorders.
As a neurophysiology technician, you will work directly with inpatients and outpatients of all ages (babies, children and adults). Investigations include:
EEG (electroencephalography) - a recording of the electrical activity of the brain from the scalp which is mainly used in the diagnosis of epilepsy and monitoring of people with this condition.
Evoked potentials - these are potentials produced by the brain in response to specific stimuli, for example, a flashing light or sounds. Evoked Potentials are used in the diagnosis of various conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and eye conditions like night blindness.
EMG (electromyography) and NCS (nerve conduction studies) - these assess the function of the nerves and muscles within the body. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is commonly diagnosed using NCS. EMG is used in conditions affecting nerve and muscle function including myasthenia gravis, motor neurone disease among others.
Where can Neurophysiology Technicians work?
Neurophysiology technicians can work in a variety of workplaces, including:
What qualifications does a Neurophysiology Technician need?
To practise as a Neurophysiology Technician in the UK, you will need to have:
Practical experiences from University (if a new graduate)
A minimum of five 9-4 (A*-C) grade GCSEs (or the equivalent), usually including maths, English and a double science GCSE. You should apply for at least two A levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form.
What is a Neurophysiology Technician’s salary?
Band 5: £24,214 - £31,112
Band 6: £30,401 - £37,267
Band 7: £37.570 - £43,772
Working as a locum Neurophysiology Technician
Band 5: £18 - £26+ an hour
Band 6: £28 - £32+ an hour
Band 7: £32 - £37+ an hour
Working as a locum Neurophysiology Technician can differ to a full-time role in the following ways:
6-12+ month contracts available
Can work weekends and evenings for enhanced rates
High expectations on a locum to come in and hit the ground running without a huge amount of training and/or supervision
You can pick where you want to work and what area of Physiology you want to work in
Gain experience using different computer systems and settings
Tend to avoid bureaucracy
Greater flexibility with hours
Paid per hour worked
1 weeks’ notice if you wish is to try a different role
How to become a Neurophysiology Technician
To become a neurophysiology technician in the UK, you'll need to apply for an approved 3-year healthcare science degree where you can specialise in neurophysiology, which includes placements in the NHS. To apply, you'll usually need at least two A levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications), including a science subject. Healthcare science practitioner degree apprenticeships where you could specialise in cardiac physiology may be available in some parts of the country and you'll usually need the same level of GCSEs and A levels or equivalent qualifications.
Alternatively, you could take a science degree then apply for the NHS Scientist Training Programme.