How important is it to have a good educational foundation in the field of IOM?
Speaking with a surgeon in surgery, specifically during critical moments i.e., after a real iatrogenic change can be nerve racking “no pun intended”, especially if you are brand new in the field of IONM and even for some seasoned clinicians. If you don’t give clear and concise feedback to the surgeon, you could lose your credibility in one moment depending on what day of the week it may be for any particular surgeon. Those of you that are already in the field know what I mean.
On the other hand, if you say the correct thing and assist a surgeon in preventing a patient from a post-operative deficit, then you gain all of the credibility that you worked so hard to achieve. Your credential that you worked so hard for at that moment means everything! With that said, this isn’t to scare you or deter you from considering IONM. IONM is a very rewarding and gratifying field! For those of you looking to get into the field, this just means for you to learn as much as you can during your education and even after you pass your board exams and continue on throughout your career.
One of my favorite quotes is “SMOOTH SEAS NEVER MADE A SKILLED SAILOR”. In the field of IOM, we routinely have smooth seas i.e., surgeries with no issue at all, but it is the few challenging surgeries when we see true changes that really put our skills to the test.