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A Sleep Technologist works under the general supervision of the clinical director (M.D., D.O., or PhD) or designee to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders. This may involve polysomnography, diagnostic and therapeutic services or patient care and education. A Sleep Technologist can perform the duties defined for a Sleep Technician and may provide oversight of other staff.
A day in the life of a Polysomnographic Technologist at Hackensack Meridian Health can be described as follows:
Gather and Analyze Patient Information
- Collect, analyze and integrate patient information in order to identify and meet the patient-specific needs(Physical/mental limitations, current emotional/physiological status regarding the testing procedure, pertinent medical/social history), and to determine final testing parameters/procedures in conjunction with the ordering physician or clinical director and laboratory protocols.
- Complete and verify documentation.
- Explain pre-testing, testing, and post-testing procedures to the patient.
Testing Preparation Procedures
- Prepare and calibrate equipment required for testing to determine proper functioning and make adjustments if necessary.
- Apply electrodes and sensors according to accepted published standards.
- Perform appropriate physiologic calibrations to ensure proper signals and make adjustments if necessary.
- Perform positive airway pressure (PAP) mask fitting.
- Follow procedural protocols [such as Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), Maintenance of Wakefulness Test(MWT), parasomnia studies, PAP, oxygen titration etc.] to ensure collection of appropriate data.
- Follow “lights out” procedures to establish and document baseline values (such as body position,oxyhemoglobin saturation, respiratory and heart rates, etc.)
- Perform Polysomnographic data acquisition while monitoring study-tracing quality to ensure signals areartifact-free and make adjustments, if necessary.
- Document routine observations including sleep stages and clinical events, changes in procedure, andsignificant events in order to facilitate scoring and interpretation of polysomnographic results.
- Implement appropriate interventions (including actions necessary for patient safety and therapeuticintervention such as continuous and bi-level positive airway pressure, oxygen administration, etc.)
- Follow “lights on” procedures to verify integrity of collected data and complete the data collection process(repeats the physiological and instrument calibrations and instructs the patient on completing questionnaires, etc.)
- Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize and provide age specific care in the treatment,assessment, and education of neonatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patients.
- Oversees and performs difficult and unusual procedures and therapeutic interventions.
Polysomnographic Record Scoring
- Score sleep/wake stages by applying professionally accepted guidelines.
- Score clinical events (such as respiratory events, cardiac events, limb movements, arousals etc.) according tocenter specific protocols.
- Generate accurate reports by tabulating sleep/wake and clinical event data.
- Service Management and Professional Issues
- Comply with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines and standards regarding safety and infection controlissues.
- Perform routine and complex equipment care and maintenance.
- Evaluate sleep study related equipment and inventory.
- Maintain current CPR or BCLS certification.
- Demonstrate effective written and spoken communication skills.
- Demonstrate appropriate social skills.
- Respond to study participant’s procedural-related inquiries by providing appropriate information.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze complex situations and apply policy.
- Comply with the BRPT Standards of Conduct.
Education and/or Experience:
- Successful completion of an accredited educational program leading to an associate degree with an emphasis in polysomnography.
- Successful completion of a polysomnography program of no less than one than one year duration associated with a state licensed and/or a nationally accredited educational facility or equivalent experience and documented proficiency at all competencies required of a Sleep Technician.
- Certification by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists as a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist or equivalent.