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Blog Feature

By: Richard Rosenberg, PhD on November 18th, 2016

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Fundamentals of Sleep Technology — Not Just For Newbies


Sleep Technologist Fundamentals Course

The AAST recently held a Fundamentals of Sleep Technology course in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio.

If you were unable to attend for one reason or another (such as an aversion to rock and roll, World Series losers (go Cubs!) or burning rivers), you should check out the course modules as they become available in the on-line store.

These modules are just like being at the course, except you don’t need to dress up and you can pause them at any time.


A great line-up at the AAST Fall Course

Terrance Malloy and Laree Fordyce co-chaired the course and brought together an exceptional group of speakers including Laura Linley, Jon Atkinson, Elise Maher and Joel Porquez.

The course began on a high note with a lecture on normal sleep by David Wolfe. Subsequent10-20 eeg placement system talks covered all of the basics of sleep technology including electrode placement, sleep
scoring, reading hypnograms, identifying cardiac arrhythmias and classifying artifact.

The speakers provided excellent reviews and discussed multiple recording examples. The goal of the talks was to provide a breadth of information for new technologists and to prepare learners for certification examinations.


Not just for the entry level sleep technologist

But, as the title says, the course was “not just for newbies.” Even if you have been in sleep since paper recordings, it’s always good to review and get up to date with changes in the rules and regulations.

It was just a little while ago (which may be as much as 10 years) that I gave a mini-course in sleep scoring at the AAST annual meeting. One of the attendees came up to me after the talk and said that she had taken scoring courses every year for the past five years and she learned something new every time.  

As I listened to the modules from the Fundamentals Course, I realized she was right. Most of the information was familiar but there were new elements in each talk. The perspective and insight of the speakers added to my understanding of the topics.

The field of sleep medicine is changing rapidly. Home sleep apnea testing, standardized outcomes measurement and advanced treatment platforms are all modifying the way we think about sleep disorders and how they are treated. It may be hard to stay on top of all of these changes. But there is an infrastructure to sleep medicine.


Importance of the basics

It is critical to have a firm grasp on the basics of what happens during a sleep study and to understand why we continue to rely on a standardized methodology initially developed almost 50 years ago. I strongly recommend that you check out the Fundamentals of Sleep Technology modules. It’s good to get back to our roots.


Richard S. Rosenberg, PhD


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