Tami Carter, R.EEG T., has been applying electrodes and caring for patients at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Jonesboro Clinic
since it opened in 2012. She was a member of the ACH Jonesboro Clinic team when there were only three people. Now, Carter is the team leader for a staff that includes nearly a dozen full-time nurses, technicians and physicians. Her typical day (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) still focuses on patients and electrodes, but she’s also the primary point of contact for the clinic’s day-to-day operations.
Registered Electroencephalographic Technologist (R. EEG T.)
Measuring electrical activity in the brain can help diagnose epilepsy, sleep disorders and brain tumors. As an R. EEG T., Carter prepares young patients for the measurement procedure, places the electrodes and leads the patient through activities that stimulate the brain. The tools and wires can sometimes be intimidating, especially for the clinic’s youngest patients. Carter uses various techniques to educate and calm children, including “measuring and electrode placement on all kinds of stuffed animals and dolls. We have also given [the patients] ’superpowers’ and ’rainbow hair’ with the electrodes.” She shows them the tools she’ll use for the test and sometimes applies electrodes to the patient’s hand to reassure them that there won’t be any pain when placed on the head. The ACH Jonesboro Clinic gets referrals from pediatricians throughout Jonesboro and the region. For some, this is their first experience of the compassionate care Arkansas Children’s provides.
Once the head is measured and marked and the electrodes are accurately placed, Carter leads the patient through “activating procedures.” Blowing on a pinwheel, watching a strobe light and taking a brief nap all create electrical signals in the brain, which can be measured and analyzed. Carter gets the data in real time and sends it to a neurologist for interpretation. The process takes an hour to 90 minutes, then Carter cleans and prepares the room for the next patient.
Team Leader of ACH Jonesboro Clinic
When she’s not tending to patients directly, Carter does the operational things that ensure the rest of the team can deliver the excellent care that Arkansas Children’s facilities are known for. That includes:
- Ordering supplies for the clinic
- Making the nurses’ schedule
- Being the primary point of contact for the clinic
Carter helps area schools find placements for students who want to learn more about health care careers. She’s the person to call to arrange a visit to the clinic or to learn more about the specialty care offered. In addition to the full-time staff, physicians and nurses from Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock travel to the ACH Jonesboro Clinic regularly to deliver care instead of asking patients to make the drive to ACH. Carter maintains the schedule of visiting health care providers.
Being the team leader at the ACH Jonesboro Clinic means lending a helping hand to all the other specialists at the clinic. Carter said, “If I am available and can help out, why not? This can be anything from scheduling an appointment for a patient to helping run point-of-care testing such as glucose monitoring or A1C or urinalysis tests on patients.”
Being helpful and compassionate while delivering excellent care is how Tami Carter champions children every day at the ACH Jonesboro Clinic.