“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.
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.
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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.
Whether you are new to the sleep field or have been in it for many years, credentialing is an important step essential to advancing in the field. Credentialing demonstrates your commitment to testing and validating your competency. However, studying for the Certification (CPSGT, CCSH) or Registration (RPSGT) exams can be daunting. The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure you know what you need study and use the appropriate study materials.
It is very common to have patients with occasional to frequent restless nights followed by increased sleepiness during the day, and subsequent performance issues. In addition to the immediate impact of excessive daytime sleepiness and dysfunction, there is potential to develop chronic insomnia. There is also considerable data that links chronic insomnia to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, plus an impact on the personal safety of an individual with chronic insomnia.