Here is a guide on becoming a sleep tech.

It’s common knowledge that many medical professions each require unique specializations.

Examples include nurse anesthetists, nurses, nuclear medicine technologists, speech-language pathologists, medical physicists, medical massage therapists, sleep technologists, etc.

How to Become a Sleep Tech

As expected, there are lots of training programs for each of these fields or careers.

To become a full-fledged professional, you’ll need to undergo rigorous training that spans a specific study period, including certifications.

The sleep technologist is where our attention will be focused on.

If you find this medical profession or specialization exciting, you might want to know more about becoming one. This article offers a detailed guide on what actions to take to achieve your objective.

All you need to do is read through the information provided to get started.

  • Sleep Tech Training

Sleep technologists are medical professionals whose primary objective is the study of sleep patterns to correct sleeping disorders.

Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. These disorders adversely affect patients and could lead to other health conditions.

Sleep technologists diagnose patients using a technique known as polysomnography to test for body functions like brain activity, heart rate, movement, and breathing.

All such diagnoses are primarily performed at night when the patient is asleep. So, as a sleep technologist, I often expect to work night shifts.

Sleep technologists have a variety of responsibilities that include educating patients about their conditions, choosing and setting up equipment, diagnosing sleeping disorders, and closely observing patients during sleep studies.

The patient’s sleeping and waking patterns are also analyzed.

As a sleep technologist, you’ll also promote healthy sleep behaviors, administer oxygen where necessary, develop care plans, make sleep reports, and document patient progress.

How to Become a Polysomnographic Technologist

Your desire to become a sleep technologist can be achieved by following basic set procedures, which mostly have to do with having minimum admission requirements.

Such include completing high school, applying to a beginner-level training program, and getting clinical experience.

Next, you’ll need to take the certification exam and meet your state’s minimum licensing requirements.

To further advance your career, you’ll need to earn additional credentials while updating your certifications as required.

With that said, let’s discuss each of the points mentioned.

i. Completing High School

One of the fundamental steps to take in becoming a sleep technologist includes completing high school and earning your diploma or its equivalent.

Here, earning a GED certificate or high school diploma is the starting point of your journey toward becoming a sleep technologist.

You’ll do well to take anatomy, biology, or physics courses as they provide the fundamentals necessary for a healthcare profession like sleep technologist.

Having completed high school and obtained your certificate, you’re ready to proceed to the next stage, which is to apply to a beginner-level training program.

ii. Applying to a Beginner-Level Training Program

When applying for beginner-level training programs, it’s best to only go for accredited ones.

There are lots of education programs for sleep technologists. There are specially designated programs called the Sleep Technology Approved Resource (STAR).

These STAR-designated programs can be enrolled in once the minimum requirements are met. Such programs can be enrolled in through on-the-job training or self-study education.

Severalnner-level programs like the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine Online Foundation Sleep Technology.

More programs include the Sleep Multimedia Online Modules, the AASM A-STEP Online Self Study Module, and the Sleep Tech Tutor.

Other programs to consider include First Sleep School, Tranq Sleep Institute, Tulsa Tech Sleep Technology Self Study Program, Advanced PSG and Titration course, etc.

iii. Getting Clinical Experience

Clinical experience is among the essential requirements for training as a sleep technologist.

Such practical experience is acquired in a sleep center or clinic. During this time, you can communicate with patients while also handling technology.

What more? The exposure gained from the sleep center environment lets you become more acquainted with lab procedures. Of course, experience is earned through the training program.

You’ll need to seek opportunities to work in these environments.

Certification exams will readily accept both paid and volunteer clinical experiences. This makes it even more rewarding to students.

iv. Take Certification Exam

With the education and experience gained, the following line of action will be to take a certification exam to become a certified sleep technologist.

Studying well ahead of time goes a long way in helping you ace your certification exam. Sleep technologists get to choose from a variety of certifications.

  • Sleep Tech Credentials

Examples of these include the Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT), Registered Sleep Technologist (RST), and Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) certifications.

For novice sleep technologists, the most basic type of certification is the CPSGT type.

v. Meet your State’s Minimum Licensing Requirement

It’s common to find that different states have unique licensing requirements for sleep technologists.

While there may be similarities in licensing requirements, you’ll find several differences in what’s being asked.

You may be required to register with your state’s medical board or earn a license. Guidelines for preferred educational paths or certifications may also follow.

Whatever the case is, you’ll do well to research your state’s requirements and policies as it gives you an idea of how to proceed.

vi. Earn Additional Credentials

To advance your career as a sleep technologist, you’ll need to earn additional credentials. This help strengthens your skills and experience, thus improving your competitiveness when applying for a job.

Earning additional credentials can be achieved by way of pursuing or enrolling in more sleep technology certifications.

Good examples include the Certification in Clinical Sleep Health (CCSH) and the Sleep Disorders Specialist (SDS) credential issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

vii. Update Certifications

Certifications must also be updated with time to ensure or guarantee their validity. Such revalidation of credentials keeps you eligible for practice within your state.

If you’re moving to another state, you’ll need to determine their certification requirements and thoroughly implement them.

With the steps above, your quest to pursue a career as a sleep technologist is made possible and more accessible. These steps are comprehensive enough to guide you through the process.