Online Sleep Apnea Technician Training
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can range in severity from irritating to potentially fatal. Experienced technicians are needed to study sleep apnea and help people understand and treat the condition. Continue reading to learn more about online programs and certification information.
Online Programs for Sleep Apnea Technicians
Students interested in working as a sleep apnea technician can pursue online programs in polysomnography. Online programs are perfect for students who can't attend traditional classes, allowing them to complete their certificate or degree at home. Online programs are available at the certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree levels.
|Online Availability||Online degrees in polysomnography are available at the certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree levels|
|Education Options||Prospective sleep apnea technicians can enter the field through on-the-job training, studying at an online or traditional college or through an accredited program|
|Program Topics||Medical terminology, working with patients and sleep-monitoring equipment|
|Online Program Information||Online programs can often be completed at your own pace, allowing you to watch lectures, complete assignments and participate in discussions from your computer|
|Certification Options||Professional certification is optional but often preferred by employers, and is available from the Board of Registered Polysomnagraphic Technologists|
|Median Salary (2018)||$51,210 (for all respiratory therapy technicians)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||56% decline (for all respiratory therapy technicians)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Can I Become a Sleep Apnea Technician?
You can become a sleep apnea technician through on-the-job training or formal education in the field of polysomnography. Polysomnography refers to the science of sleep study, which includes sleep apnea and other disorders. You can also study through an Accredited Sleep Technology Education Program (A-STEP); this option combines a classroom-based introductory course, which you can often find locally, with online self-study modules.
What Will I Study?
Your sleep apnea technician training will include several components. First, you'll develop an understanding of medical terminology and the sleep-monitoring equipment used in the field. Your courses will also cover the basics of working with patients, including interviewing and assessment techniques. Additionally, you'll study the theories and latest research in the field of sleep science. Most certificate and associate's degree programs include clinical training requirements. You can typically complete this requirement at a local hospital or sleep-study facility.
If you're completing training through A-STEP, you'll first take an introductory course covering the foundations of sleep study. This course concludes with an online examination. It is followed by a series of online modules covering sleep theory, sleep study setup, sleep stages, sleep-related breathing disorders and other topics.
How Do My Online Study Options Work?
Your online coursework in a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program is typically offered asynchronously, allowing you to complete your education while attending to personal or professional responsibilities. You'll utilize an online classroom platform, such as Blackboard, for all of your coursework. This will include watching lectures, receiving and submitting assignments, communicating with faculty members and participating in discussion groups with your fellow students.
If you're completing A-STEP online self-study modules, you can complete your work at any time, with most modules taking less than 90 minutes to complete. Each module consists of a series of slides followed by an exam. You must earn a score of at least 70% on each exam, though you can review the slides and re-take the exams as often as you'd like. You must pass the exam before proceeding to the next module.
What Certification Can I Earn?
Though not required by law, many employers prefer that you earn certification as a polysomnographic technician or technologist. You can earn certification at two levels through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT). These include the entry-level Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT) and the more advanced Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) credential.
In order to earn CPSGT certification, you must complete a series of self-learning modules offered through A-STEP. You must also have at least three months of full-time work experience in the field of polysomnography and possess at least a high school diploma. Once these requirements are met, you can take the CPSGT exam.
To earn your RPSGT credential, you can follow one of several paths. These include completing a combination of clinical work experience; A-STEP online modules; and other educational programs, such as a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program. If you choose to complete an educational program, it must be accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). You'll also need to be certified in Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS).