As a sleep technologist, your ability to identify sleep disorders such as central sleep apnea is essential in order to enable the physician to determine a correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate therapy.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects thousands of individuals. With this condition, you have an interruption in your breathing while sleeping that occurs through repetitive pauses, referred to as apneic events. There are several types of sleep apnea, but two prominent types include obstructive sleep apnea (most common) and central sleep apnea. As a sleep technologist, it’s important for you to know the key differences between central and obstructive apnea so you know how to best treat your patients who may have one or the other disorder.
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PAP therapy, or positive airway pressure therapy, is a general term that health professionals apply to all sleep apnea treatments that provide patients with a stream of compressed air while they sleep to support their airway. Your patient wears a mask while sleeping with PAP therapy. The device then blows pressurized air from the room into the patient's upper airway through the mask with a connected tube.
Having trouble sleeping is commonly reported throughout the world. According to the American Sleep Association (AMA), sleep disorders currently affect as many as 50 to 70 million U.S adults, and insomnia is the most commonly reported. As a sleep technologist, you should know that if your patients are unable to sleep, it can get them down. It can also be very dangerous. AMA reports that drowsy driving is responsible for as many as 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries per year on America’s roads.
For patients with sleep apnea, a visit to the doctor’s office all too often consists of a review of test results and downloads, a brief physical examination and a change in PAP pressure levels or mask size. What’s missing from this? The patient. A new initiative seeks to put patients back at the center of medical care where they belong.
For those of you preparing to take the RPSGT or RST exam, here is your chance!
Think you have what it takes to prepare for the RPSGT exam? Whether you're a new sleep technologist starting out or a sleep technologist who has been practicing for years, the reality is that taking or re-taking the RPSGT or RST credentialing exam may be in your near future. That being said, you may be thinking 'Where do I even begin?' The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities that the AAST offers that can help you perform your best on the RPSGT or RST exam. The BRPT also offers study tips for the RPSGT exam, and the content outline for the RST exam along with a suggested reading list are also available for RST exam candidates. In addition the AAST offers many opportunities for those preparing for a credentialing exam. We list some of them below:
What's with concussions and sleep? Lately much attention has been paid on professional, college, and all other levels in sports with regard to how to prevent concussions and how to treat athletes that may be concussed. This is very important as concussions can have long lasting detrimental effects. Recovery from a concussion can take longer for young children and teens. And if they have had a concussion, they are at increased risk for having another one and it may take even longer for recovery after several concussions.