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Blog Feature

By: Kevin Asp on August 27th, 2015

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5 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Local AAST Course or Conference

Sleep Technologist Advice

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Worried that not enough AAST events are nearby? Check again!

In our busy world we often forget the importance of being in a live face-to-face setting with others from the sleep technology community.

As the leading organization that represents sleep technologist training and education, the American Association of Sleep Technologists offers a variety of options for you to find a course where you can learn the latest cutting edge skills required in the field.

There are many benefits to being active in committees within the AAST and in your local sleep society chapters. There is power in being connected to other people who are active in your line of work, but it can also be easy to talk yourself out of committing to that annual meeting year after year. Many people think that joining the AAST is enough, but to capitalize on your investment you need to be engaged and participate in the meetings.


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We understand that sleep technologists are busy, so the thought of taking a few days away from your practice to participate in a conference, trade show, convention or seminar can seem like a waste of time. 

However, it's these live meetings that might just help you uncover new ways to better market yourself as a top tier sleep technologist.

Many think that being around competitors (and even colleagues) can be a waste of time, or worse, a chance for others to steal their ideas. But not everyone in the sleep field is actually a competitor, in fact most are allies and friends.  The mindset you choose about participating in events will impact your results and your return on your investment.

So here are five reasons why attending a local AAST course or conference can be an invaluable experience for you and your career as a sleep technologist.

1. Educational opportunities, and that means in many cases you can earn dozens of CECs

No matter how experienced you are, every seasoned sleep technologist knows that sleep technology is a rapidly changing field. And we know how working your shift as a night tech, can be especially isolating without expsosure to a variety of points of view.  We can easily miss new ideas and trends that can impact future results.  The educational aspect of a conference can expose you to new treatment options, the latest in sleep study findings and can also help you discover how to be more productive.


2. Networking with your colleagues

AAST sponsored conferences and courses provide a great opportunity to network. Often it's your colleagues from other regions of the country who can become valuable resources for referrals and best-practices. 

Avoiding peers for fear of others discovering your competitive advantage can actually limit your own success.  Collaboration is the way to approach networking.  While there are those whose intentions can be suspect, most people can help each other to uncover new ideas and spark inspiration when they get to know each other on a personal level.


3. Encounter new partnership opportunities

Too often people shy away from annual meetings and course opportunities with vendor hall opportunities. That's because they fear that they will have to talk to salespeople; but these industry suppliers are some of the best people for you to get to know if you want to learn more about the current healthcare solutions climate. 

Remember, being an effective sleep technologist includes knowing and being able to offer the best equipment that caters to the diverse needs of your patients.

Discovering innovative products and services for your sleep center is necessary in order to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced world.  Plus, these vendors who sell to your industry fully grasp what is happening inside your competition.  Invest time with the sponsors at the event and turn them into your friends and allies.

4. Position yourself as an expert

When you are active in your industry, you can develop a reputation as an expert to your peers and your patients. Those who are engaged over the long term are often asked to speak at AAST events and to write articles for our award winning publications like A2Zzz. Others like to associate with the experts in any field. If your strategy is to be the best-kept secret in your business community, you will be missing a valuable opportunity.


5. Most importantly, you get to have fun

Being a sleep technologist should be rewarding and fun. All work and no play can get old fast. Attending courses and conferences can add a layer of enjoyment to managing your career growth by mixing a social aspect into your learning and branding efforts. 

Many events include fun activities such as parties, golf, and tours of the local area where the event is hosted.  Taking an extra day at the beginning or end of the trip to explore or visit friends in the region is also a great way to maximize the investment in travel. Never underestimate the power of a little fun mixed with some interesting people!

Join us in Branson for the AAST's premier advanced course offering

Our advanced course "Beyond OSA" will take place in Branson, MO the live entertainment capital of the world! The AAST has always encouraged attendees to take advantage of the amazing sight seeing opportunities available in the cities where courses and conferences are held.

Remember that attending local events will unlock opportunities you will rarely find online

Many falsely believe that since they can now access industry information via the Internet that the days of the live meeting are gone. The truth is, meetings are more important than ever, especially since sleep technology as a profession has been demanding that sleep technologists provide advanced care and therapies for their patients.

The value in meetings comes from the human-to-human connections that occur. Often people cite the serendipitous “hallway conversations” that they have with other attendees as the most valuable part of attending an event.

While these are not on the agenda, or mentioned in the breakout sessions or learning objectives, when two or more people begin to discuss topics on a deeper and personal level, the success of the event to those involved becomes irreplaceable. It is the people that bring the ROI to your time at a conference.

Join us at the 2017 Fall Course! Learn more by clicking here.

2017 Fall Course