Sleep technology, also called polysomnographic technology, is an allied health care occupation that embraces a unique body of knowledge and methodological skills. Sleep technologists are allied health professionals who work as part of a team under the general supervision of a licensed physician to assist in the education, evaluation, treatment and follow-up of sleep disorders patients of all ages. These professionals are specially trained to perform polysomnography and other tests used by a physician to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.
Polysomnography includes the process of analyzing, monitoring and recording physiologic data during sleep and wakefulness. This includes providing polysomnography services that are safe, aseptic, preventive and restorative, applying the use of techniques, equipment and procedures involved in the evaluation of polysomnography for the treatment of sleep disorders that are offered during the staging, execution of and scoring of a sleep study.
These procedures include, but are not limited to:
- Implementation of a written or verbal order from a licensed physician that requires the practice of polysomnography, including out of center sleep testing (OCST)
- Positive airway pressure titration on spontaneously breathing patients
- Supplemental low flow oxygen therapy during polysomnogram (up to six liters per minute)
- Capnography during polysomnogram
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Pulse oximetry
- pH probe placement and monitoring
- Esophageal pressure
- Sleep staging, including surface electroencephalography, surface electrooculography and surface submental electromyography
- Surface electromyography of arms and legs
- Respiratory effort monitoring including thoracic and abdominal signals
- Plethysmography blood flow
- Nasal and oral airflow monitoring
- Body temperature monitoring
- Audio/video monitoring of movement and behavior during sleep
- Monitoring positive airway pressure modalities used to treat sleep related breathing disorders, including the effect on sleep patterns, provided that the device does not extend into the trachea
- Monitoring the effects on sleep patterns of an oral appliance that does not extend into the trachea and that is used to treat sleep apnea
- Analyzing and scoring data that may be used by a licensed physician in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep and wake disorders that result from developmental defects, the aging process, physical injury, disease, or actual or anticipated somatic dysfunction
- Observing and monitoring physical signs and symptoms, general behavior and general physical response to polysomnographic evaluation
- Providing durable medical equipment (DME) to patients
- Coordinating patient care and education
- Therapy compliance
- Educating patients and their caregivers
- Tracking and management of disease state and outcomes
- Promoting health and wellness
To become a sleep technologist, an individual must complete certain educational and training requirements. While completing these requirements, students, trainees and technicians may perform certain sleep procedures while under proper supervision.
The supervision required for students, trainees and technicians while completing these educational and training requirements includes:
Sleep (Polysomnographic) Student
Students may provide sleep-related services while under the direct supervision of a physician, sleep technologist (RST, RPSGT) or respiratory therapist (RRT-SDS, CRT-SDS).
Sleep (Polysomnographic) Trainee
Trainees may provide sleep-related services while under the direct supervision of a physician, sleep technologist (RST, RPSGT) or respiratory therapist (RRT-SDS, CRT-SDS).
Sleep (Polysomnographic) Technician
Technicians may provide sleep-related services while under the general supervision of a physician, sleep technologist (RST, RPSGT) or respiratory therapist (RRT-SDS, CRT-SDS).