Electromyography Technologist

Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic technique for disorders of the brain. EMG technologists help doctors to understand the electrical activity of a patient's muscles and nervous system.

The term electromyography (EMG) generally describes the measuring of electrical activity in the brain sent out by muscles through the insertion of a needle electrode. By inserting thin needle electrodes into various muscles, EMG technologists can map out normal and abnormal signals. They can then determine whether there has been slight nerve damage or paralysis. Doctors use the knowledge of an EMG Technologist to understand the electrical activity of a patient's muscles and nervous system.

Today, EMG technology involves more methods for stimulating and recording the nervous system, besides the use of needles. Examples of such techniques are:

  • standard motor and sensory nerve conduction studies
  • repetitive nerve stimulation
  • needle EMG of skeletal muscles
  • blink reflexes, and
  • skin responses.

When the patient is ready, the technologist briefs them about the procedure to help reassure them and to discuss any questions or concerns. The patient must give consent in order to begin the testing, and then the EMG technologist records their medical history. The EMG technologist may help position the patient correctly and help them relax or cooperate for the needle EMG examination.

Photo: Island Health

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