Life in the OR

Jodi Parsons, DC, CNIM 

Jodi ParsonsJodi Parsons was in private chiropractic practice with her husband for just over 10 years and although she loved being a chiropractor, running a small business was starting to take its toll both physically and mentally. She started to explore her options – a career where she could utilize her education (a degree in neuroscience), skillset, and passion for patient care. Jodi had all the makings of a surgical neurophysiologist. She just didn’t know it yet.

“It was a conversation with my friend’s husband that convinced me to explore IONM further,” she said. “He used to be a neurophysiologist and is now on the management side of operations, but I spent several hours talking with him about what a neurophysiologist does, what their role is on the OR team, what skills are required/necessary, etc.  I got so excited about it that I put in my application to SpecialtyCare the next day.”

Jodi is a surgical neurophysiologist II serving on our Delaware IONM Team.

What has been the most interesting thing you’ve experienced in this career transition?

I love an academic challenge and I love using my mind/brain in different ways.  After being a chiropractor for so long, I wasn’t really intellectually stimulated anymore.  Changing careers to IONM challenged me to think of the human anatomy and physiology in a way that I hadn’t really considered for quite some time.  It challenged me to learn new things, unlearn other things, and it continues to push me to this day.  I am still learning and expanding on my experience and knowledge base.  Just when I think I’m comfortable, a new case or a new procedure, or a new patient presentation comes along to shake me up and keep me on my toes.  I find that very exciting.

On another note, I find that chiropractors are exceptionally qualified for IONM.  We already have the anatomy and physiology foundation.  We are skilled clinicians and are able to perform exams and have full and complete working knowledge of most diagnoses and conditions.  We bring to the field an ability to read and understand imaging and to fully comprehend what the surgeon is doing and hoping to accomplish during a procedure.  Not to mention, we are very comfortable speaking with other medical professionals and we can communicate clearly and professionally with the surgical team.

What has the transition been like?

The transition has been interesting.  It was very difficult to say goodbye to my patients, kids, and husband to go to Nashville for two months. It was even harder when my husband and I decided to permanently close our chiropractic office last year.  It has taken some getting used to,  not have a set schedule anymore and to be at the whim of the OR schedule on any given day.  That has perhaps been the most difficult aspect of this job – the unpredictability and the inability to really plan ahead.  However, the pay-off is that I am able to attend more of my kids’ sporting events and after-school activities than ever before.

And, I’m not going to lie, it was a little humbling to go from being the doctor, running the clinic and calling all the shots, to playing a more supportive role. However, it’s a role in which I take great pride and in which I have found a new home for myself.

Jodi Parson family