To become a certified polysomnographic technologist it is necessary to graduate high school or complete the Accredited Sleep Technology Education Program (ASTEP) program. Polysomnographic technologists must also complete an accredited program offered through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). In addition to completing these programs, 6 to 18 months of practical experience is required before a polysomnographic technologist can pursue certification.
Polysomnographic technologists, also referred to as sleep technologists, evaluate, test and treat patients who have been diagnosed with sleep disorders. These sleep professionals work with and under the general supervision of physicians while treating sleep problems. Polysomnographic technologists may pursue voluntary credentialing from the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists. The Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) credential is the highest certification available.
|Education||May include a high school degree and completion of one of several accredited programs; may also include self-study modules|
|Training||Minimum of 6 to 18 months of paid clinical experience completed within a 3-year period prior to certification|
|Exam||Passage of a 4-hour, 200 multiple-choice question computer test|
|Certification||Certification in basic cardiac life support with hands-on training|
|Other Requirements||Adherence to specified standards of conduct|
Polysomnographic Technologist Certification Information
The Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) certifies polysomnographic technologists (PTs) with the RPSGT credential. Awarded to polysomnographic technologists who have met BRPT's education and experience requirements, this internationally recognized credential is the highest certification in the polysomnography field. The RPSGT exam is computer-based and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Test takers are allowed four hours to complete the exam.
Polysomnographic Technologist Certification Requirements
The BRPT offers four pathways to obtain RPSGT certification. These routes include using a combination of clinical experience, education and self-study modules. Although polysomnographic technologists can choose any pathway to obtain certification, they must still meet the basic eligibility requirements.
Depending on how a PT seeks RPGST certification, educational requirements may include proof of high school graduation or the completion of the Accredited Sleep Technology Education Program (ASTEP) introductory course and self-study modules offered through the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Another education requirement is the completion of an accredited program offered through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
After determining which eligibility path fits, a PT would need a minimum of six to 18 months of paid clinical experience in direct patient recording or scoring, which must have been completed within a 3-year period prior to seeking certification. If a polysomnographic technologist has graduated from a CAAHEP-accredited polysomnographic technology program, then the clinical experience requirements are waived.
Polysomnographic technologists seeking RPSGT certification must be certified in basic cardiac life support (BCLS) and provide documentation of hands-on training. Online cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses without practical training do not qualify. Technologists must also adhere to the BRPT standard of conduct, which includes upholding ethics, protecting patient privacy, following state and federal laws and maintaining responsibilities to colleagues and the polysomnography profession.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to PayScale.com, polysomnographic technologists earned a median hourly wage of $23.32 as of August 2019. Data for these professionals isn't available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but the BLS reports that job openings for all health technologists and technicians were projected to grow 20% from 2018-2028.
Polysomnographic technologists work with patients who have been diagnosed with sleep disorders. They typically have a high school diploma and complete accredited programs and gain practical experience to be eligible for certification. They must also have basic cardiac life support (BCLS) certification before taking the RPSGT certification.