When we asked Brian Bush, senior manager of neurodiagnostics at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, if there was anyone on his team he’d like to highlight during Neurodiagnostic Week for their great work over the last year, he insisted on including his whole team.

“We come at things with such a team effort. The whole team … they just worked seamlessly, and they worked so hard,” Bush said.

“Throughout that whole entire process, it was just awesome to see the team feed off each other,” he added. “They were always willing to step in and take on tasks, making sure that we delivered the best patient care that we could.”

Neurodiagnostic Week is recognized from April 18-24, 2021. Ambu Inc. is proud to be an exclusive sponsor this year’s ASET awareness event.

Rodica Lesanu, a supervisor in the Michigan Medicine unit, told us that a good foundation in communication was key to success last year. The team built on those skills in the face of adversity, she added.

It was especially important for team members to share new, emerging information about the pandemic they were hearing from family members abroad, Lesanu said.

And, despite the intense fear most technologists felt, “They always came to work with a smile, saying, ‘How can we help?’” Bush said.

Safety First

As the pandemic raged, the team began to focus on creating the safest environment possible for the patients and staff. Protocols changed “almost by the hour at certain points of the pandemic,” Bush said.

The team adopted a system of rotating shifts, dividing their staff of 15 into teams of five. The groups would rotate weekly schedules, with time off worked in to see if anyone developed COVID-19 symptoms, Lesanu said.

Managing this new system required up-to-the-minute communication. And like many departments, the pandemic required them to switch to virtual meetings via Zoom. The team also began using other digital communication tools such as texting and phone calls to minimize contact.

Despite the physical distance this created, communication actually improved and team members completed work faster, Lesanu said.

“We didn’t utilize this technology as much in the past because we had traditional routines,” she said. “With faster communication, the quicker you can get into the details and find solutions.”

The New Normal

Today, neurodiagnostics at Michigan Medicine is in “some kind of normal.” But, many of the changes made over this last year will remain in place.

“It will probably become our new norm to allow people to have a little bit of a different work-life balance and still stay connected,”  Bush said.

During a recent morning shift report, Lesanu asked her team what advice they would give others still facing the challenges of the pandemic. Rana Safaya, an EEG tech, emphasized open communication and patience.

“Be respectful of others regardless of your difference. Effective communication and being transparent allows us to take on any challenge as a team. Ask for help when needed — we all have the responsibility to lift each other up in order for us to succeed.”

Special thanks to:

  • Brian Bush, CNIM, MBA, senior manager at Michigan Medicine under both neurology and PM&R, managing EEG, epilepsy, intraoperative monitoring, and EMG areas.
  • Rodica Lesanu R. EEG T supervisor for the EEG epilepsy lab at Michigan Medicine.