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Blog Feature

By: Beth Ann Payne on March 1st, 2016

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2016 REM Run: AAST Supports CAAHEP Polysomnography Programs

Sleep Medicine | Sleep Technologist Advice

pos_poly2.jpgPhoto Courtesy of Southeast Community College

How the AAST is supporting student education

The American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) has long been recognized for supporting sleep technology education.  In 2002, the AAST began an initiative to establish standardized education programs for sleep technology, and joined the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Long hours were spent developing policies, standards and guidelines, curriculums, and syllabi. Through the AAST’s hard work, in April 2003 CAAHEP approved the request to form a Committee on Accreditation for Polysomnographic Technologist Education (CoA PSG). Following in AAST’s footsteps, multiple educational institutions developed CAAHEP polysomnography programs over the past decade, and one of those institutions is Lenoir Community College (LCC).

LCC is a comprehensive two-year public institution based in Kinston, North Carolina.  Lenoir Community College opens doors to education and opportunities that are difficult to find anywhere else, which is why LCC’s administration decided to start a Polysomnography Program in 2007.

The Polysomnography Program offered at LCC is one of thirty-eight CAAHEP accredited programs in the nation, and accepts ten aspiring sleep technologists annually.  Students undergo 21 months of rigorous studies, which includes 1,088 hours directly related to polysomnography.

Furthermore, students spend an additional 592 hours studying general education courses in Math, Science, English, Humanities, and Art.  Upon graduation, students receive an Associate of Applied Science in Polysomnography degree.  Graduates are eligible to enter esteemed Bachelor degree programs, such as the BS in Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Sciences offered at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Lenoir Community College’s Polysomnography Program continually aims to be a leader in sleep technology education.  In December 2015, LCC expanded the polysomnography laboratory to include five new computers with Sleepware G3 by Philips Respironics, as well as three new ResMed ApneaLink Air HSAT devices.  With this equipment, LCC is diligently working to create the first polysomnography clinical simulator.  Generous patients are kindly donating their raw data to education, and LCC has created a massive file server to store the donated studies.  Future students will spend 16 months staging and scoring sleep studies in the new clinical simulator.  Furthermore, PAP titration simulations are being created to improve real time decision-making skills needed to perform optimal titrations.  During the past decade, home sleep apnea testing has grown.  Building an HSAT simulator will ensure graduates have well-rounded clinical skills to meet workforce demands.

Completing a program of study not only requires time and effort, it additionally requires funding.  To assist polysomnography students in affording their education, the LCC Foundation organizes multiple fundraiser events annually.  Over the past three years, the LCC Foundation has worked diligently to establish a 5K wellness event, known as the LCC Polysomnography REM Run.  Proceeds of this fundraiser are dedicated to providing scholarships for deserving polysomnography students.

This year, the 2016 REM Run additionally includes a 1 mile Fun Run, and will be held on the Lenoir Community College campus April 16, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Pre-registration for each event is $25 and includes a t-shirt, and discounts are available for teams, students, faculty, and veterans. Interested individuals can register online at www.lenoircc.edu/run.  

The LCC Foundation, faculty, and students would like to thank the AAST for sponsoring the 2016 REM Run, and for the AAST’s dedication to promoting and advancing the sleep technology profession.

“Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” – Harry Truman

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