Employment In The Field of IONM: IntraNerve Neuroscience vs. Large Corporation

Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) technologists come from a variety of different educational and professional backgrounds; however, once the proper training is complete and you have earned your CNIM, it is thrilling to see how employment opportunities from different companies present themselves. However, this can also feel overwhelming. How do you know which company will value you the most? Which company will allow you to grow professionally? Where you will feel a sense of belonging?

My journey in the field of IONM began when I had the opportunity to complete my clinical externship with one of the industry’s largest companies. Following graduation and earning my CNIM, I was ecstatic when they offered me a full-time position! I thought, that because this company was one of the biggest, that it naturally had to be the best. However, it did not take long for me to realize bigger does not in fact mean better.

Working for this company, I was one Neurophysiologist out of 21 in my region, and out of 500+ throughout the entire country. Companywide there were around 2000 employees overall. Outside of my local team, I had no interpersonal connections with other clinicians, office staff, or executive management throughout the company. I think I speak on behalf of several clinicians that it felt like you were only your employee ID number to everyone, someone that can just be a warm body in the operating room (OR) and available to work 30-60 billable hours a week.

Being an IONM tech in the OR can be extremely mentally and physically demanding. With weekly OR hours reaching such high numbers, saying we were exhausted is an understatement! Unfortunately, employee satisfaction and therefore retention, surgeon satisfaction, as well as quality of patient care did not seem like a priority at times.

A few years later, I knew it was time to explore other options and potentially find my forever home with a company. It is beyond scary to step outside of your comfort zone and start looking for a new employer when so much is unknown. However, I am beyond grateful that I made the decision to pursue the job I received with IntraNerve Neuroscience.

I am now one employee out of 150 and I have established relationships with not just my local team, but clinicians’ company wide and home office staff. The CEO and the rest of the executive leadership team reach out and get to know who you are on a personal level and respect you and all that you have accomplished. And during a time of crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, employee retention was of upmost importance. Unfortunately, my previous colleagues were not so fortunate.

The physical and mental demands of working in IONM are strongly acknowledged by leadership. Clinician’s work-life balance is respected, rather than employee utilization rates. More importantly, I walk into the OR each day with confidence that I can provide each of my patients with the high-quality care that they deserve when they step through those hospital doors. I now have the time to formulate professional relationships with each surgeon I am working with which is crucial for establishing trust and better work as a team when in the OR. Working for INN has allowed me to love what I do again.