By: Laree Fordyce, RPSGT, RST, CCSH, AAST Program Committee Chair on April 9th, 2018
Sleep Technologists, See You in Indianapolis this September!
Have you circled September 28-30 on your calendar yet? If not, you will want to make arrangements to be in Indianapolis for the AAST Annual Meeting, as we host the only event dedicated solely to sleep technologists.
That’s right, it’s the first independent event from AAST, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store!
I know what you may be thinking, “But AAST has hosted an event in the past—in fact I even attended.” You’re right—well, partially. For the past 39 years, AAST has been co-locating educational sessions within the broader SLEEP conference. That all changes this year. With this marking the 40th anniversary of our organization, what better way to celebrate such a milestone than with the unveiling of a dedicated AAST event?
As the Program Committee Chair, I am fortunate enough to be front-and-center on the planning and strategy that goes into making such a significant event happen. I can tell you that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the makeup of this event, with careful consideration to how we are structuring our content. After all, we know that there are multiple events vying for your attention these days. So we are shaping the agenda to be focused solely on the content that matters most to the changing demands you are experiencing on a daily basis.
And we have made it so sleep technologists can justify attendance with their supervisors. AAST has created a downloadable justification letter that you can use to proactively begin conversations with your supervisor to discuss your attendance.
As such, allow me to present to you three high-level areas of focus that you can expect in Indianapolis:
Education: First and foremost, education remains right at the heart of what the AAST is all about. Sleep technology is changing and sleep technologists are expanding into new roles. In response, sleep technologists will need to improve their skills, knowledge base, and education in order to provide a higher level of care in sleep centers that are testing and treating more complicated patients.
With that in mind, you can expect educational topics similar to those you have come to expect from AAST in the past—along with some new ones that coincide with the changing landscape of the industry. What will be different is the structure of how this education is presented. New speakers, varying degrees of format and plenty of opportunities for you to go hands-on with new tools and techniques. Consider it your time to roll up your sleeves and become immersed in what’s next.
Collaboration: AAST believes that sleep technologists need to consider expanding their constituency to include other roles within the sleep arena, such as sleep educators, medical assistants, dental assistants and hygienists, respiratory therapists, and nurses, and to provide targeted sleep education for these many new participants.
While this is an event dedicated solely to sleep technologists, we also realize the value of including the voices of those across allied healthcare into the discussion. We are engaged with physicians and other disciplines across healthcare to share their knowledge with attendees.
We envision AAST as a resource for these professionals, and we believe that by including their perspectives in the event, we open the door for deeper collaboration, and ultimately a higher level of education for attendees.
Leadership: Central to the evolving role of the sleep professional is the idea that we are taking on a new level of leadership. As such, we need to refine our skills to be the very best we can be. Expect some very powerful sessions focused on both the strategic and tactical methods of being an effective leader—and an announcement very soon on one of our first speakers in this area.
I am proud to say that the makeup of the 2018 Annual Meeting will be unlike any you have ever experienced as a sleep professional. We will continue to communicate developments with you through our blog, social media channels, and A2Zzz. In the meantime, be sure to make your plans to be with us in Indianapolis, September 28-30, and experience all that we have in store!
We hope you will join us for The AAST 2018 Annual Meeting – Sleep Education for the Sleep Community - in Indianapolis September 28-30th, where you will find a unique event that will provide forward-thinking education to expand your professional skills. This is an opportunity to network with our growing community of sleep professionals and representatives from the AAST and the BRPT, who will be in attendance to provide more information about this topic and more, and to jointly celebrate the 40th Anniversary of these premier organizations!