It is a standard in medicine to use clinical pathways that support the use of evidence-based medicine and clinical guidelines. These pathways improve clinical effectiveness as well as multidisciplinary communication and teamwork that support continuity of care across the clinical disciplines, which is exactly where the clinical sleep health educator (CCSH) can support patient care effectively. I'm excited to introduce module five of the AAST Enhanced CCSH Designated Education Program Recorded Modules which outlines the important role that clinical evaluation plays in managing sleep disordered patients, especially those with complex medical conditions.
“What’s in your wallet?” This is a popular refrain from a television commercial touting the benefits of a credit card. It promises that the card holder is ready for all situations that require some access or assistance for a situation at hand. As certified clinical sleep health (CCSH) educators, we too must be able to reach into our “knowledge” wallet and use the right “knowledge card” to assist and work with our patients. The information in the “Incidence & Prevalence of Sleep Disorders” module of the AAST CCSH Designated Education Program Recorded Modules will assist you to acquire this knowledge base.
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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.
An essential element of the clinical sleep health educator (CCSH) role is an understanding of modes and rationale for sleep testing based on patient history and complaints. In addition, an understanding of the data derived from the various types of testing and the ability to evaluate that data is crucial. In module two of the AAST Enhanced CCSH Designated Education Program, Jon Atkinson, BS, RPSGT, CCSH, FAAST, discusses the rationale behind sleep testing, both in the laboratory and the home, and highlights the importance of a quality sleep history to ensure the appropriate level of testing and sleep environment is provided. Additionally, Atkinson gives an overview of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) and the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) indications, recommended protocols and scoring process for each test.
A fundamental understanding of normal sleep and wakefulness, along with related behavioral and physiologic variables, provides the basis from which sleep disorders in patients of all ages can be identified. It is also crucial that a sleep professional has a fundamental understanding of each sleep disorder as patterns and stages of sleep and wakefulness and the distribution, proportion and progression of different stages of sleep and wakefulness across a sleep episode develop and change from birth through old age.
Sleep in the pediatric population is ever-changing with sleep-specific characteristics and behaviors constantly changing as the child grows. In order to properly treat pediatric patients, sleep technologists need to have a thorough understanding of the stages of sleep development and know the signs of abnormal sleep behaviors.
Knowing how to properly score a polysomnogram (PSG) is a must for the sleep technologist, and understanding pediatric and infant scoring rules is crucial for those who work with this population as sleep issues can greatly impact growth and overall health as infants and children age into adulthood.
Sleep plays a critical role in the early stages of development in children. It is important to focus not only on the quantity of sleep received but also the quality. While the methods of measuring and evaluating sleep quality are similar to that of adults, there are differences that sleep technologists must consider when testing pediatric patients.