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Blog Feature

By: Laree Fordyce, RPSGT, RST, CCSH on October 7th, 2021

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Clinical Evaluation and Management for the CCSH

CCSH | clinical evaluation

With sleep medicine and technology changing rapidly, we must remember to use our critical thinking skills as certified clinical sleep health (CCSH) educators. The information in the “Clinical Evaluation and Management” module of the AAST Enhanced CCSH Designated Education Program Recorded Modules will assist participants in utilizing their knowledge base and critical thinking skills to better assess and educate their patients.

A basic understanding of testing modalities for patients with sleep disorders is fundamental to the role of the CCSH. This module guides participants through the most updated indications for various testing modalities and discusses the appropriate use of sleep testing. A review of various sleep disorder testing procedures such as polysomnography (PSG) and home sleep apnea testing (HSAT) and discussion of the indications and testing protocols for the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and Maintenance of Wakefulness test (MWT) protocols and use is provided. This is valuable information for the CCSH as it is important when reviewing data derived from sleep testing to ascertain that the appropriate protocols have been followed to assure the data collected is valid. The data review provides essential information and guidance for the CCSH providing patient education and assisting with patient follow up.

The role of the CCSH educator in the patient education and acclimation processes, specific to and critical to the success of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, is also covered in the module. A review of the most recent American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) clinical guidelines and the manual titration of PAP pressures during attended polysomnography is also provided in this module. These requirements specify PAP education as the first step following the initial physician evaluation and diagnosis. The education must include mask fitting and acclimation to therapy, all which are sleep technologist responsibilities.

In summary, acquiring a solid knowledge base of clinical evaluation, developing an ability to communicate findings, and providing education and support for patient treatment are central to success for those in the role of the clinical sleep health educator.