This position supports best practice and encourages credentialing bodies for the sleep technology profession to require a minimum education level for entry into the profession, thus eliminating the clinical experience pathway for credentialing examination eligibility.
The sleep technologist cares for patients with sleep disorders that affect sleep and wakefulness, providing care for patients who range in age from infants to the elderly. The range of services provided includes comprehensive evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders, including: in center polysomnographic testing and home sleep apnea testing, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, comprehensive patient care and direct patient education. This broad range of services requires that the sleep technologist exercise critical thinking and independent judgment, and possess an advanced knowledge of sleep technology, sleep/wake disorders and associated co-morbid conditions such as cardiac disease, pulmonary disorders and diabetes.
Sleep technologists work in hospitals, free-standing care facilities, and may travel to patient’s homes.
In order to attain competence and adequate knowledge of sleep/wake disorders and their treatment, AAST has adopted the position that individuals performing sleep testing procedures and patient care services possess at minimum the following:
- Successful completion of an accredited education program leading to a certificate or associate degree with an emphasis in sleep technology.
- An Associate’s Degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
- Certification by a nationally recognized certification board and holds the Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT), Registered Sleep Technologist (RST) or Sleep Disorders Specialist (SDS) credential. If the individual is not credentialed at the time of hire, a deadline for obtaining the credential, established by the employer, is strongly recommended.
- A license to practice sleep technology in any state that has enacted licensure requirements.