As we highlight Epilepsy Awareness Month this November, we’re sharing Amy Duffy’s journey as an EEG Technician at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Delaware. In this Associate Highlight, she shares her involvement in the fascinating world of Neurodiagnostic technology and what makes this career so remarkable throughout the experiences she has encountered.

Amy has always been interested in science and knew she wanted a career that provided an opportunity for hands-on patient care. When exploring a variety of career options, Neurodiagnostic technology was the path that stood out to her. “I found it intriguing that someone could look at all those squiggly lines on the screen and see something meaningful. I liked that the field is versatile and offers many different career paths, including electroencephalography, intraoperative monitoring, polysomnography, nerve conduction, and evoked potentials. I also liked that there is a good amount of problem-solving and critical thinking skills involved.” For Amy, a career in Neurodiagnostic technology was just the right blend of technology and patient interaction. “My job is both challenging and rewarding, and I feel like I’m making a difference in my patients’ lives by providing the highest quality testing possible.” One of Amy’s roles as an EEG tech is to monitor and record electrical activity in her patients’ brains, which can lead to helping diagnose various conditions, such as epilepsy, sleeping disorders, and brain tumors, among others.

At the start of her training, Amy wasn’t entirely certain about specializing in pediatric care, as she was concerned that the field might stir feelings of sadness due to the circumstances patients may face. Fortunately, for Amy, her first clinical rotation was at a hospital that had pediatric patients. She shares, “I got to see firsthand just how rewarding and fulfilling it is to work with the pediatric population. About halfway through my schooling, I was given the chance to work as an extern at a children’s hospital in Philadelphia. My time there helped me realize I definitely wanted to work in pediatrics.” Furthermore, Sarah Renaud, the supervisor of the EEG department at Nemours Children’s, gave a presentation at Amy’s school about the epilepsy surgeries being done at Nemours. Amy shares how, “listening to Sarah speak about the growth of her department and the role EEG plays in patient outcomes really excited me. Soon after Sarah’s presentation, a classmate told me that Nemours had an opening. Of course, I applied right away. I’m so grateful that Sarah believed in me enough to give me such a wonderful opportunity.”

Amy highlights the significant impact of collaborating with her team at Nemours, emphasizing the gain of valuable experience, knowledge, and the development of strong friendships: “I appreciate working with a team of incredibly smart, strong, talented, and funny women whom I can count on for support in both professional and personal capacities. We’re not just coworkers; we’re also friends. We’re there to celebrate each other’s milestones and accomplishments.” Amy further notes that, even when encountering obstacles, her team “offers encouragement through the hard times.” She adds, “We know we can rely on each other for help with challenging situations. I learn so much from them, and I recognize how fortunate I am to be a part of this incredible team.”

Surrounded by individuals at Nemours Children’s who share similar values and possess a passion for delivering the best care to patients, Amy finds joy and fulfillment in her work. “I love being surrounded by people who care about their patients as much as I do. I value being part of an organization that understands the importance of empathy and of leading with curiosity rather than judgment. I’m proud of the work we do here. I feel honored that our patients’ families trust us to care for their loved ones.”

Amy also shares that throughout her journey as an EEG tech at Nemours Children’s, she has encountered many satisfied parents who express their happiness with the care they receive. “Families often share that they feel seen, heard, and respected in a way they’ve not experienced at other hospitals. Cultivating that sense of trust and safety is something that Nemours does well, and I’m happy to be a part of that mission.”

Amy shares three of her favorite memories while working at Nemours Children’s:

“The first one is when I passed my boards. My teammates hung celebratory signs all along my path into the hospital. It felt amazing to have all their support.

The second one involves the sister of one of my patients. I was doing an EEG on her brother. She was very curious about the EEG and also very worried about him. After they went home, I noticed that she’d left a sweet note on my EEG machine for me. In the note, she thanked me for taking care of her little brother and told me how kind it was of me and how grateful her family was. She reminded me why I do what I do. I keep her note on my refrigerator.

My last favorite memory is of a little boy who, like many kids, had lots of anxiety about getting an EEG. There were tears in the beginning, but by the time I was finished, we were friends. He told me he wished I could go to the playground with him now that his test was over. When I told him that, though I wished I could come, I unfortunately had to work, he told me that he was going to buy me flowers. It’s moments like these that make it all worthwhile.”

Amy’s journey as an EEG Technician stands out as an inspiration of dedication and compassion. Her experiences highlight the significance of teamwork, the value of strong professional bonds, and the impact of empathetic patient care. As we conclude our focus on Epilepsy Awareness Month, Amy’s story resonates, serving as a continued call to raise awareness and appreciation for those contributing to the well-being of others in the field of Neurodiagnostic technology.

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