2015 AAST Awards: AAST New Technologist Award Winner Taylor May
Becoming an award-winning sleep technologist as a 22-year-old wasn't easy, according to Taylor May, recipient of the AAST New Technologist award
Each year we've recognized individual members for their professional excellence, service and commitment to the association and to the sleep technology profession. They have inspired us with their commitment and passion to educate and innovate our members. Congratulations to this year's winners, and a big thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for them!
Taylor May, RSPGT, could hardly believe it when she heard her name called to receive The AAST New Technologist Award[RB1] , which goes to a recent graduate of an accredited sleep technology education program.
As the first member of her family to attend and graduate from college, Taylor said she faced many challenges growing up in the small town of Manvel, Texas.
"I'm the only one among my friends from high school to have pursued higher education and have a career at this point," she said. "But English has always been my best subject, I've always liked being in school so I pushed myself to get there."
The 22-year-old is a freshly minted registered polysomnographic technologist, who attributes her academic and personal successes to her mentor and former instructor Georgette Goodwill RPSGT,R.EEG.T, RDCS, RVT, who is the program director of polysomnography at Alvin Community College.
"I cried when Georgette nominated me for the award, and shortly after I submitted my application I smiled right at her and she knew exactly why," Taylor said.
Since she was young, Taylor said she had always had an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare. She came across the field of polysomnography when she enrolled in Alvin Community College where she became fascinated by everything sleep-related.
As she was preparing for her certification exam, Taylor noticed that many young adults held common misconceptions about sleep. Among those myths were the assumption that drinking Coke right before bed didn't affect sleep and that being a sleep technologist was a "creepy job where you stared at people sleeping all night."
After she passed her certification exam, Taylor joined AAST and was astounded at the plethora of educational resources available at her disposal. In fact, she said she would highly recommend her peers in sleep technology to join AAST.
"It's easy to lose sight of why you became a sleep technologist in the first place when you're constantly stuck in the middle of nowhere as a night technologist," she said. "But you have to put yourself out there, connect with other sleep technologists and know the most up-to-date information in our field--it's best for our patients."
Sure, some newly credentialed sleep technologists may find the membership price tag to be daunting but Taylor said connecting with members of AAST and learning the benefits of a membership for newcomers allows you to make an informed decision.
And for Taylor, the membership was worth it. She started out by attending local sleep meetings and plans on joining the committee that runs the annual sleep technologist appreciation week.
Today she works at the Matagorda Regional Medical Center as a sleep technologist. She said she plans on committing to a career in sleep technology and hopes to go back to school in the near future.
Are you a sleep technologist who has just joined the field? If you want to know how AAST benefits new sleep technologists drop us a line here.