The Effect of Postsecondary Education and Previous Work Experience on Clinical Competence: A Quantitative Analysis of Neurodiagnostic Technologists’ Credentialing Examinations
Elestwani, Sami F.
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Background: Neurodiagnostic technologists are allied health professionals. They perform highly specialized diagnostic tests on patients of all ages. There is evidence of increased demand for well-educated neurodiagnostic technologists in the United States. However, the number of technologists who successfully pass the EEG credentialing examination is low when compared to other allied health professions. Purpose: This study is intended to answer the following research question: What are the effects of postsecondary education and previous work experience on neurodiagnostic technologists’ vocational competence? Methods: This study used quantitative retrospective analysis of examination data from the Americana Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists written examination between 2010 and 2015. IBM SPSS Statistics was used to analyze these data and to test the study hypotheses. Results: The initial one-way MANOVA test, using examination version as the independent variable and examination pass rate and average scores as the dependent variables, indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the results of the two examination versions. Secondary analysis also indicated that on average, examination pass rate and average scores are higher for examination version two when compared to those of examination version one. Further testing also indicated that the mean averages of pass rate and scores increased with higher levels of education. Surprisingly, this relationship was reversed for the number of years of relevant work experience. Conclusion: The study revealed three major findings: 1) the change in examination format in 2013 resulted in a statistically significant increase in the examination pass rate and the average examination scores, 2) there is a significant positive correlation between level of education and neurodiagnostic technologists’ competence, and 3) there is a negative correlation between the number of years of related work experience and technologists’ competence.