The coronavirus pandemic has affected every facet of our lives, from how we work to where we spend our free time. Less often discussed is how COVID-19 has affected how we sleep, and the underlying phenomenon of “coronasomnia.”
It would be an understatement to say that schools, teachers and students have been under immense stress during COVID-19 — turning on a dime to online learning, experiencing isolation and facing a lack of educational support and personal protective equipment (PPE) have only been a few of the challenges. However, recent research shows that increased adolescent sleep duration has proven to be a silver lining thanks to school closures that occurred at the start of the pandemic. Around the world, school closures and schedule changes in response to COVID-19 have also proven that schools are capable of changing their schedules — for the benefit of public health — which means that delaying school start times is possible.
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For some of us, it is the season of building budgets for the next fiscal year, depending on when your fiscal year begins. Whether you are new to the role of creating a budget or an old hat, I hope this primer will be helpful.
As we see some light at the end of the tunnel with the U.S. advancing the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, we also are seeing many school districts having students return to in-person or hybrid learning. The debate around what time school should start has always been a point of discussion for sleep professionals, physicians and parents.
Sleep technologists from across the world have been redeployed in the face of COVID-19. They’ve been called on to help COVID-19 patients, to test those coming in and out of the hospital and to help disperse personal protective equipment (PPE) to other departments. For Eduardo Hernandez, BSRC, RPSGT, CCSH who works at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, the experience really opened his eyes to how valuable sleep technologists are during a crisis such as this.
As public health professionals make the determination it's safe to see patients and there are more relaxed stay-at-home restrictions, sleep technologist practices should strategically plan on how and when it's best to reopen. They should utilize recommended guidance from relevant prominent authorities, such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Medical Association (AMA), on how to safely reopen their facilities. The AAST has conveniently gathered a great deal of important COVID-19 information for sleep technologists that can be found on the AAST resource page.
As a sleep technologist, you likely know COVID-19 has disrupted many people's lives, and can cause a dilemma for individuals struggling with sleep apnea. In the COVID-19 era, sleep is more important than ever for your patient’s physical and mental health and their immune systems. Here, and through his YouTube channel, Dr. Bob Ledda, M.D., a health and wellness physician at Community Health & Wellness Center, shows there is scientific evidence pointing to the association between metabolic diseases and poor sleep. Dr, Bob, who is a partner at Cenegenics® Alaska, talks about the physiology and long-standing medical consequences of sleep apnea, what the various treatment options are, and what supplements he suggests that scientific studies have shown to improve sleep.
As public health professionals make the determination it's safe to see patients and there are more relaxed stay-at-home restrictions, sleep technologist practices should strategically plan on how and when it's best to reopen. They should take recommended guidance from relevant prominent authorities, such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Medical Association (AMA), on how to safely reopen their facilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unwelcome challenges overnight, leaving the healthcare industry floundering in a sea of change; it seems that every service line now must assess, pivot and adopt safety procedures aimed at reducing the risk of care. My goal for this compliance corner is to highlight the resources and standards required to develop an enhanced and ongoing safety plan for your sleep center.
Krystal Rowan, RPSGT, was on Facebook when she saw a post from a friend. She called them “ear savers,” devices designed on a Cricut machine to secure the loopholes of a PPE mask behind the head as opposed to behind the ears. Rowan, who also had a Cricut, jumped into action.