Career as a Sleep Technologist?

Sleep technologist Professional

A Sleep Technologist is a trained allied health professional who works in a team under the supervision of a Sleep Specialist in order to help, educate, evaluate, treat and also follow up on sleep disorder in patients of all age groups. The sleep tech, an abbreviation for either technician or technologist, are a valuable member of integrated sleep care model care which includes pre-test evaluation, diagnostic testing, provision of care, follow-up, and long-term care.

The sleep techs undergo thorough training in order to perform overnight studies called polysomnograms or even daytime studies like multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT)or maintenance of wakefulness testing (MWT) as well as other kinds of tests which help us in our attempts to diagnose and treat the sleep disorder” says Dr. Himanshu Garg, Sleep Specialist. The process of polysomnography commonly known as sleep study includes recording, monitoring, analyzing and scoring sleep study data.

In West Sleep Technologist is recognized and accredited as a separate allied health profession. The sleep medicine industry in India is rapidly expanding due to increase in public awareness on snoring and sleep apnea so many fresh graduates are choosing Sleep Technology as a career.

Sleep technologist – Indian Scenario

He or she has to be trained in the technology of sleep and all the relevant and important aspects of sleep medication as well. These have to conform to the current International Classification of Sleep Disorders. For getting such formal training to become a sleep technologist they can join sleep services like Sleep Cure Solutions which run specially designed training programs to help them learn the fundamentals of sleep science and technology as well as gain clinical experience in a sleep center. They need to then seek certification to demonstrate their professional ability and knowledge. Dr. Himanshu Garg, Director Sleep Cure Solutions suggests” The American Board of Sleep Medicine offers the Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) designation an international degree, which you are eligible to test for after you meet both education and experience requirements. If the tech wants to stay and practice in India bodies like SEAASM, ISDA, ISSR also offer certification programs.”

Roles and Responsibilities of Sleep Technician

  1. A Sleep Tech should have basic understanding of medical terminology, physiology, and pathophysiology of sleep disorders.
  2. The technologist should possess good written and oral communication skills as they need to interact on a professional level with physicians, other healthcare professionals and patients. Ability to explain complex medical issues to patients, will be part of the required skill set.
  3. The Sleep Tech generally work in two shifts. In the night shift they stay awake overnight and record, monitor and analyze a patient’s oxygen, heart rate, brain waves, muscle activity and other bodily processes during sleep. Many sleep patients get home sleep testing and PAP titration. The sleep technologist will need to recognize and react to difficult situations when patients have multiple comorbidities and provide care that is more sophisticated than simple continuous PAP.
  4. They are responsible and should ensure all the sleep lab equipments are clean as per standard infection control policies and working properly.
  5. The day shift tech then scores and stages the raw sleep data recorded overnight and prepares the Sleep report .This data is then interpreted by the Sleep Physician.
  6. Some Sleep Techs take the role of Clinical Sleep Educator and PAP therapist. Their roles involve patient educationincluding individual and group sessions, self-directed care and motivational enhancement. As the focus in medicine shifts from diagnosis to adherence, technologists will need to become competent in health psychology methods
  7. Sleep Techs with years of experience can take up the role of Sleep center/ Sleep service manager. Their duties include patient scheduling, supply and material management, staff supervision, training of students and personnel, educating, training and professional development. They also have the task of development of policies and procedures, quality assurance, billing and data management. A technologist can bring valuable patient care experience to management positions. Acquiring skills in budgeting and development of business proposals can help them acquire better positions.

Employment Opportunities

Sleep technologists can work in hospitals or sleep centers like Aviss Health or sleep Services like Sleep Cure Solutions. They can get positions with various DME (Durable Medical Equipment) providers, or in academic research settings, as well as non-facility settings and clinics of the sleep specialist. If you are interested in becoming a sleep tech you can contact Sleep Cure Solutions at www.sleepscoringsolution.com,call 9871162255 or email us at info@sleepcuresolutions.com. It is an important and satisfying career for those who have a passion for helping people to sleep better.

(Author: Dr Prerana Garg, Medical Director, Sleep Cure Solutions)

 

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