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Can RN's function as Sleep Technologists?

Nurses   (245 Views | 6 Replies)

Lanntis has 1 years experience as a BSN.

1,974 Profile Views; 98 Posts

Random question in this crazy pandemic economy. Many facilities are redeploying or laying off staff in certain nursing specialties right now.  Before I became an RN I was always kind of interested in sleep studies and basically watching the patient's sleep all night.   

Is there a fast track for already BSN prepared nurses? All I can find is information about how associate degrees and STAR programs are the requirement. It seems like as RN's there would only be maybe some sleep specific coursework we could self study at home and then take a credentialing test?  Anyone have any knowledge?  I wouldn't mind working as a polysomnographer tech for awhile during this whole pandemic crisis and my current job security being iffy. 

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1 Follower; 803 Posts; 7,505 Profile Views

Have you ever had a sleep test done or know what it entails?  I’m assuming not because it’s not just watching people sleep 

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Lanntis has 1 years experience as a BSN.

98 Posts; 1,974 Profile Views

42 minutes ago, beekee said:

Have you ever had a sleep test done or know what it entails?  I’m assuming not because it’s not just watching people sleep 

I have, actually! My intention was not to put down or condescend in any way. Watching people sleep is not necessarily a simple or easy task.  No offense was offered from my statement.  Merely asking if there is a pathway to polysomnography for RN's that doesn't involve a whole new degree.   

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531 Posts; 2,411 Profile Views

I suspect that there isn't much need for sleep technicians right now either.  Things will pick up as states reopen and people feel more comfortable about going to the ER/having elective surgery.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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"Technicians" usually do more purely monitoring and data collection functions or they run "technical" part of the job (prepare work area and machines, hook/unhook patients, etc). They (again, usually) do not do assessments and analysis of the data they record, they do not directly access the patient. They also (usually) paid much less than someone with 4 years college degree. So BSN probably would be "overqualified" for the job.

When things pick up, you can surely try for sleep clinic, especially if you like set schedule, a whole lot of education to be done daily and some very thankful patients. 

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Lanntis has 1 years experience as a BSN.

98 Posts; 1,974 Profile Views

18 minutes ago, KatieMI said:

"Technicians" usually do more purely monitoring and data collection functions or they run "technical" part of the job (prepare work area and machines, hook/unhook patients, etc). They (again, usually) do not do assessments and analysis of the data they record, they do not directly access the patient. They also (usually) paid much less than someone with 4 years college degree. So BSN probably would be "overqualified" for the job.

When things pick up, you can surely try for sleep clinic, especially if you like set schedule, a whole lot of education to be done daily and some very thankful patients. 

Thanks for the information! I wish "overqualified" weren't a thing in the world, but it seems to carry on. I'm more into the whole "honest day's work for an honest day's pay" kind of concept myself. But yes, I'll have to look into sleep clinic when things pick up and see if they like having BSN's there 🙂 

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NICU Guy has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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I was a RPSGT (Registered Polysomnographic Technologist) for 14 yrs prior to getting my BSN. For many states, it is a turf war with AARC. AARC wants only RTs doing sleep studies. Getting a job as a sleep technologist depends on your state. Some states have no regulations, some states require RT, and some states require RT or be registered as a sleep technologist (RPSGT or RST). Depending on the barrier of entry, the pay may be super low ($10/hr) to pay equivalent to RN pay. I left because I wanted to move and there is a lack of consistent pay throughout the US. Additionally, the insurance companies do not want to pay for a facility based sleep study. They would rather pay for a home study that involves a cannula to measure your breathing and a belt around your waist to measure your breathing. I left 5 1/2 yrs ago just when the home studies were becoming an issue. I am assuming that they have consumed a larger part of the sleep testing market, meaning less demand for sleep techs.

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