If you are like many during this unprecedented period, you are hunkered down at home, wondering what the future will hold for you, your family, and your career. However, if there is one thing that previous crises have all told us, we will overcome this trying time, and we will have learned some valuable lessons from it and throughout it. While we shelter in place, now is the time to challenge ourselves to grow, to plan ahead, and to find all the hope we can.
To come out from this crisis feeling both fulfilled and secure, ask yourself– What do you value? Does what you do align who you are? What unique qualities and skills do you have that you can use or improve? When we move past this pandemic, what will be your next steps? What opportunities can you make for yourself, and how will you emerge?
If you’ve been watching the news, one career opportunity should be more than evident– there’s an unprecedented need for healthcare workers. On Tuesday, March 24th, Governor Mario Cuomo stated that as we head towards flattening the curve in New York state, he is willing to send clinical workers to assist with efforts in other areas of the country where the virus infection rates have increased.
With a moratorium on elective surgeries, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), surgeons and hospitals anticipate a backlog of procedures as the outbreak subsides. Now, given the 267% increase in the use of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM), and over 800,000 spine surgeries performed each year, there was already a shortage of skilled surgical neurophysiologists, despite the manageable requirements.
Surgical neurophysiologists– also known as neuromonitorists or intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) clinicians– speak for patients who cannot speak for themselves. It’s a role that’s both financially and emotionally rewarding. Working in tandem with the surgical team while patients are under anesthesia, they perform tests that provide surgeons with additional information about the functionality of the neuromuscular system. It’s their duty to ensure that patients awake safely.
As elective orthopedic neurosurgeries begin to ramp up again, Surgical neurophysiologists will be in high demand. For anyone who finds themselves struggling to figure out their future and find fulfillment right now, there are comprehensive IONM education and training options out there that can bring work and purpose into your world. While no single choice is for everyone, IONM is one way to forge a future for yourself and make a difference in people’s lives at the same time. Whether or not IONM is the path that’s right for you, as history shows and time has already told, there will be plenty of lights at the end of this tunnel, we will overcome the uncertainty we face, and we will each find our own way forward.