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Eligibility & Training
In order to participate in the examination an individual must be a member of the AETC and must have completed a variety of unassisted nerve conduction studies on at least one thousand patients.
Registration certificates can be revoked at any time if a candidate has misrepresented his/her credentials and made a fraudulent application to take the examination.
Technologist trainees must strive to achieve a level of competency that enables them to perform nerve conduction studies on patients without contributions from another technologist or supervising electromyographer. The minimum one thousand patient requirement is to be fulfilled after this level of competency is achieved. Examination candidates are expected to be able to work independently and demonstrate the ability to correct their own errors, adjust techniques according to anatomical dissimilarities and manipulate the machine according to specific needs. The document “Requirements for Registration Examination Candidates” has been accepted as the basis for the written and practical portions of the registration examination and serves as a training or study guide. The pursuit of post-secondary education course e.g. anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics etc. is not essential but is considered beneficial to a candidate’s study and preparation for the registration examination.
AETC Basic Workshop
A Basic Workshop in nerve conduction testing will be conducted by the A.E.T.C. Education Committee prior to the registration examination. This informal session usually includes a review of equipment, basic physiology and anatomy, specific nerve conductions, patient considerations and hazards of EMG. The B.R.E.T.C. highly recommends your participation in it.
This is not specifically a pre-examination workshop and is not organized by the B.R.E.T.C. The volunteer technologists from the A.E.T.C. teaching the workshop are not aware of the content of the examination, nor the rules or policies of the examination.
A four hour written examination will evaluate a candidate’s knowledge about nerve and muscle anatomy, clinical physiology of nerve and muscle, instrumentation, technical aspects of nerve conduction studies and technical, physical, anatomical and physiological factors which may affect results. The format is one of approximately 100-130 multiple choice questions including some oscilloscope tracings and display from patients with abnormal findings. Candidates may be required to perform some simple mathematical calculation, to recognize obvious and classic pathological features observed in nerve conduction studies and to distinguish pathophysiological abnormalities from artefact.
The practical portion of the examination involves a one hour (minimum) assessment of a candidate’s ability to set up and carry out conventional nerve conduction studies on a subject. Patient handling, selection of instrument settings, application of electrode, stimulation, management of artefact, practice of electrical safety, display of traes and manual reading and calculation of results will be evaluated. There will be no question relating to needle examination or interpretation of normal or abnormal EMG recordings. However, knowledge aboth the type, handling and care of needle electrodes is essential. Candidates will not be expected to operate unfamiliar EMG equipment, but must be able to specify desired settings.
Candidates are welcome to bring their own electrodes and accessories for use during the practical portion, but it is possible that they are not compatible.
The candidates will not be advised about the polarity of stimulating and recording electrodes and must not assume that the equipment they are using for the exam is equipped with signal isolation.
Candidates may perform nerve conduction studies, employing the techniques used in their labs. Candidates must be aware of alternate methods of testing the same nerves; the pros and cons of each technique; and must be familiar with the normative data for the techniques utilized.
B.R.E.T.C. examiners may request the use of stimulus pulse widths of less than 0.2 ms in order to fairly assess the candidate’s knowledge of anatomy and accurate employment of technique. You will not be penalized for stating that you normally use longer stimulus durations. Candidates will be penalized for what is observed as indiscriminate use of voltage and/or stimulus lead.
You can also download this list as a pdf.
This list is intended to serve as a guide to texts and articles that the A.E.T.C.deems as significant and useful references in the study of Electromyography and specifically nerve conduction studies. Examination material will not necessarily be limited to information from these sources.
- Brown, Bolton & Aminoff. Neuromuscular Function and Disease. Basic, Clinical and Electrodiagnostic Aspects.Volume 1 and 2. Saunders. 2002.
- Chu, J. Electrodiagnosis - An Anatomical and Clinical Approach.
- Dawson, M., Hallet,M.and Millender,L. H. Entrapment Neuropathies. Little Brown and Company, 1993.
- Dong, M. M. and Levison, J.A. Nerve Conduction I - Handbook. F. A. Davis Co., 1983.
- Dumitru, D. and Walsh, N.: Practical Instrumentation and Common Sources of Error. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1988.
- Dyck, PJ, Thomas PK. Peripheral Neuropathy, 4th Edition. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. 2004.
- Ferrante, Mark. EMG: What We Measure and What it Means. AANEM. 2012.
- Fuller,G.:Neurological Exam Made Easy. Churchill Livingstone 1993.
- Gitter, A.: Practical Instrumentation and Troubleshooting in the Clinical Setting. AAEM Course 1995.
- Johnson,E.Practical Electromyography, 2nd ed. Williams and Wilkins, 1988.
- Kimura, J. Electrodiagnosis in Diseases of Nerve and Muscle: Principles and Practice, 4th ed. F. A. Davis, 2013.
- Medical Research Council. Aids to the examination of the peripheral nervous system. Crown, 1976.
- Ma, D. M. and Liveson, J. A. Nerve Conduction Handbook, Davis, 1983.
- Oh, Shin J. Clinical Electromyography. Nerve Conduction Studies. Baltimore. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2002.
- Preston, David C, Shapiro, Barbara E., Electromyography and Neuromuscular Disorders. Clinical-Electrophysiologic Correlations 2nd Edition. Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann. 2005.
- Stewart, J. Focal Peripheral Neuropathies. Elsevier, 2010.
Various authors: Minimonographs, Case Reports and Workshop handouts published by the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. (Also published in Muscle and Nerve.)