Sinclair program designed to fill need in medical field

Among the new courses offered this fall at Sinclair Community College is an electroneurodiagnostic program that was developed after local health-care organizations cited a need for technicians to study brain and nervous system scans.

Premier Health and Kettering Health Network are expanding their neuroscience departments, said Melissa Struewing, director of the Sinclair program. She said Premier and KHN approached Sinclair about a growing need in the field.

“In order for them to meet the patient demand, testing needs to be performed to help them diagnose patients,” she said. “We perform diagnostic tests on the nervous system to assist the physician in diagnosing patients faster, allowing treatment to begin sooner.”

With a growth of neuroscience programs nationwide, there is a need for specialized testing. Struewing said that technologists who complete the two-year program and pass their boards will be in high demand.

“There is a national shortage of neurodiagnostic technologists,” she said. “Those jobs are projected to grow much faster than the average industry by 2024, allowing for over 30,000 jobs nationwide.”

Struewing said Sinclair and Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland are the only two Ohio colleges to offer the program.

There are 11 students enrolled at Sinclair’s program this fall. Next year, classes will be housed in the new Health Sciences Center, which recently received $8 million in funding from the state controlling board.

The program provides extensive training in neurophysiology, which helps students identify normal and abnormal electrical activity in the nervous systems, Struewing said.

“By recording electrical patterns, the students will be able to provide valuable data that the physicians can use to diagnose and treat certain medical conditions,” she said. “The students will graduate with an associate’s degree in applied science and be able to sit for the national boards, which means they will be able to work in any state.”

Sinclair also is offering for the first time certificates in the fields of dental assisting, healthcare navigator, lifestyle wellness coaching, and respiratory care of the newborn.