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How do you become a sleep study technician?

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Work as a sleep study technician requires completion of an accredited one-year training program or two-year associate degree in polysomnography, including an internship or six months experience as a trainee in a sleep lab. Training covers the use of continuous positive airway pressure and electroencephalogram equipment used to monitor a patient's sleep patterns, brain, breathing and cardiac activity during sleep studies. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with both patients and medical professionals are essential.

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Voluntary certification as polysomnographic technician through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists and certification in cariopulmonary resuscitation or basic life support may be helpful to applicants seeking sleep technician positions. Some states require licensing, including successful completion of an examination and proof of education.

Assisting in the evaluation and follow-up care of patients with sleep disorders, sleep technicians work directly with patients throughout sleep studies. The technician must understand the patient's sleep and medical problems and medications to ensure patient safety and compliance with monitoring procedures during the study. Sleep technicians typically work night shifts under the supervision of sleep technologists, respiratory therapists or physicians in hospitals or specially designated sleep centers. According to the American Association of Sleep Technologists, the 2015 average hourly wage for sleep technicians was $16.81.

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