Polysomnographers conduct sleep studies to help diagnose certain disorders. In polysomnographic courses, students gain hands-on experience operating various machines used in sleep studies, and they learn to analyze test results. Courses are found in either certificate programs or as part of associate's degree programs. Students can expect to go over the following topics within polysomnographic courses:
- Sleep technology
- Patient observations
- Sleep test scoring
- Anatomy and physiology
- Sleep disorders
List of Courses
Introduction to Polysomnography Course
This introductory course provides an overview of sleep medicine and the typical job duties of a polysomnographer. Students learn to record patient histories, place electrodes for testing machines and take measurements. Instructors will also go over normal and abnormal sleep cycles, related anatomy and physiology, and a basic overview of pathophysiology. Medical and electrical safety is stressed during equipment training, and students are instructed in emergency response.
Polysomnography Equipment Course
Polysomnographers use an array of testing equipment in the diagnosis of sleep disorders. Electroencephalograms (EEG) are used to monitor brain activity, and electrocardiograms (ECG) are used to monitor the heart. Results from these tests and others taken while a subject sleeps can indicate or rule out certain disorders. This course trains students to operate these machines and take accurate readings.
Sleep Disorders Course
This course details the various kinds of sleep disorders a polysomnographer might test for. Sleep disorders often consist of disrupted sleep or abnormal behavior during sleep, such as insomnia or sleepwalking. Students learn to recognize signs and test results which can indicate a patient has a particular disorder. Instructors will also elaborate on treatment options for patients.