Sleep lab technicians work in hospitals or independent sleep labs and clinics monitoring patients for an array of sleep disorders. They analyze and score sleep records that doctors use to diagnose patients and prescribe treatment. While the majority of sleep studies take place at night, some shorter tests occur in the day time. As a sleep technician, you should be comfortable with night and rotating shifts. A sleep technician position is also a suitable fit for you if you enjoy patient care, collaborating with other lab staff and interaction with doctors.
Register and complete for a polysomnography technologist associate's degree course at community college. If your community college does not offer a polysomnography specialty, complete an associate's degree in a different allied health field. You may also be eligible for an entry level sleep technician job if you have a high school diploma and related health care experience, or a bachelor's degree with a major in a health science field.
Write a resume that clearly accents your health care training and related work experience. Search the jobs database of area hospitals for sleep technician positions. Register for accounts with local or national jobs search databases. Search for sleep technician openings. Save your searches and use account settings to alert you about new openings so that you can apply for them promptly.
Research hospitals and labs to prepare for interviews with interested employers. Ask former supervisors and professors if they are willing to give a positive reference to prospective employers about your ability to perform well in a sleep lab environment. Draw on your health care education, experience and your research about the employer to answer questions during the interview and to ask questions of your own.
Complete Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, and Basic Life Support, or BLS, for Health Care Providers training. Your school may offer CPR and BLS classes on campus. Alternatively you can find classes in your community offered by the Red Cross or by other certified health care professionals. You need BLS certification to take the Certified Polysomnographic Technician, or CPSGT, exam.
Refer to the CPSGT study materials in the "Exams" section of the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists, or BRPT, website when you accept your first Sleep Technician job. Consult with your Sleep Lab manager or other Sleep Technologists on your job about the recommended focus for your study. Work with your supervisor to build clinical skills required to take the CPSGT exam as a part of your job training. Complete the Accredited Sleep Technology Education Program Self Learning Modules in the BRPT exam section to prepare for your exam.
Register for and pass the CPSGT exam. Complete continuing education requirements as directed by the BPRT. Your CPSGT certificate is a temporary license that allows you to build your skills while you prepare to become a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist, or RPSGT. If you don't pass the RPSGT exam within three years, your CPSGT certificate will expire. Begin studying for RPSGT certification as soon as possible after you get your CPSGT.
Tips & Warnings
- State licensure requirements for sleep technologists vary. Refer to the State Licensure and Government Relations section under the "Resources" tab on the BRPT website for information about requirements for your state. Ask your lab manager if you have questions about state licensing procedure if it applies in your state.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; You're a What? Polysomnographic Technologist; Kathleen Green; 2006
- American Heart Association: Basic Life Support
- Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists: CPSGT -- Eligibility
- Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists: The RPSGT and CPSGT Credentials
- Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists: State Licensure and Government Relations
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Sleep Technician Training
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