April 17, 2014
Do you ever wake up choking or gasping for air? If so, you may have sleep apnea! Sleep apnea is a surprisingly common medical condition that can have severe consequences if left untreated. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it should not go undiagnosed, and the most important person in this diagnosis is the Polysomnographer. Polysomnograhers obtain a well-rounded medical background, work in a variety of settings, and work in conjunction with other medical personnel to address and alleviate sleep conditions. Because this disorder can be fatal, it is important to consult with your doctor and line up an appointment to visit a Polysomnographer.
Ever since I was little, I’ve known I wanted to work in the medical field. I’ve always wanted to help those in need. Being raised around a family that would give their last dollar to someone who needs it more, showed me that I should not be greedy and to give a helping hand. About two years ago my best friend, Sabrina Parker, died from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Seeing her suffer from this horrible sickness broke my heart and strengthened my desire to work in the medical field.
At White Oak High School, it was mandatory for all seniors to construct a research paper as part of a Senior Project. My research paper was about what causes sleep apnea and the effects it can have on your body. Although I gathered a lot of information on sleep medicine and I learned how to set a patient up for a sleep study, I never actually found out much information on the technicians. Therefore, when given this opportunity to do an I-search paper I chose to learn more about Polysomnographers to see if this is still something I would consider having as a career.
AVERAGE WORKING CONDITIONS FOR POLYSOMNOGRAPHERS
Polysomnography, also known as sleep medicine, is used to analyze various types of sleeping disorders. During a polysomnogram – or a sleep study – a technician hooks up numerous electrodes to the patient to monitor the activities that are going on in one’s body during sleep (WebMD). Knowing that one can completely stop breathing during sleep, or can just fall asleep at any given time of the day is scary. For that reason, while working in Polysomnography I could help diagnose such conditions so that they can be treated and prevented. Before researching, I thought that even though they were both dealing with the same job, a Polysomnographer was the supervisor for a Polysomnographic technician. However, they are the same job title and people loosely use both along with other labels to refer to a sleep technologist. There are, however, different certifications for sleep medicine. Two are a Certified Polysomnographic Technologist (CPSGT) and a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT). While both can perform a sleep study, one of the main differences between a CPSGT and a RPSGT is a certified tech. can only perform a study on a Medicaid or Medicare patient in the presence of a registered technologist and then signed by the RPSGT (Humphrey).
Since Polysomnography is a newly growing field of medicine and personnel, there are a few ways recent and future Polysomnographers will go through education. While interviewing my aunt, I found that the training she and my mother went through while trying to become RSPGTs, is not necessarily offered as much anymore (Humphrey). Dawn Ree and my mother, Crystal Humphrey, went to an out of state training seminar for two weeks straight, then came back to Raleigh and did a six month on the job training. After about two years my aunt went on to the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (BRPT) website to find where testing was offered (Humphrey). Nowadays, it is required to go to a two year program including clinicals at any college or online program that offers it and then apply to take the state boards to become certified or registered (Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and