Polysomnographic Technologist Career

The awareness of sleep related disorders and issues is growing around the world, as is the awareness of the negative effects these disorders can have on everyday life. With the increase of this awareness is the increased need for polysomnographic technologists who study these disorders. There are a large number of sleep disorders, from snoring to sleep apnea, and a polysomnographic technologist is a big part of helping doctors diagnose and treat patients suffering from them.

Job Description

As a polysomnographic technologist, when you punch in for the evening, you will be prepared to spend the night watching other people sleep. You will monitor those individuals and record their behavior, including normal behavior and behavior that is considered strange. You may also monitor various machines that may be recording different aspects of the patient’s sleep patterns. In some cases, polysomnographic technologists will utilize therapeutic intervention for patients suffering from sleep apnea or other dangerous sleep conditions. This information will all be recorded and reported to physicians or other medical professionals. Some of these professionals will also perform machine maintenance.

Polysomnographic Technician Education and Training

For a polysomnographic technologist career, individuals need to obtain at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. However, most sleep clinics, physicians’ offices and hospitals will be more likely to hire you if you have obtained an Associate’s degree of Science in Polysomnographic Technology, or an Associate’s degree in medical assisting. Getting this degree requires completing a two year program from an accredited college or university. In addition to the required coursework, you may choose to take the examination for certification through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists.

Costs Involved

Obtaining the training and certification needed to pursue a polysomnographic technologist career is not inexpensive. The cost to obtain the required number of credit hours is between $1500 to 3000. Those who start with a degree in medical assisting can expect to pay as much as $45,000 for the full education. Students will typically need to pay for their required textbooks as well, which will run between $500 and $1500. Individuals who decide to take the entry level Certificate Examination for Polysomnographic Technicians, or CPSGT, will pay approximately $240 for the exam. To take the Registered Examination for Polysomnographic Technicians, or RPSGT, you should expect to pay approximately $450.

Funding and Scholarships for a Polysomnographic Technologist Career

Scholarships are offered annually by the Andrea Patterson Memorial Scholarship Program through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists; each scholarship winner receives $2,500 to help with tuition costs. Applicants must be either attending or accepted to a CAAHEP-accredited program in PSG or a PSG add-on program. In addition to applying for funding like this, students can visit their school’s financial aid office and inquire as to whether any grants or scholarships are available through the school. These students can also rely on broader grants and financial aid by filling out the FASFA through their college’s financial aid office.

Job Opportunities

A polysomnographic technologist can obtain a job in a variety of healthcare settings, including sleep clinics, hospitals and private clinics. These professionals may also be able to find jobs at research facilities that conduct studies on individuals with certain sleep disorders. With additional training, such as in respiratory therapy, technologists may be able to obtain more specialized positions working with patients who have more unique disorders or disorders that stem from other serious health conditions.

Salary for Polysomnographic Technologists

According to the Association of Polysomnographic Technologists, the average earnings of this sort of technologist are about $1719 every two weeks, or $44,720 per year. However, technologists who live in more populated areas or those who specialize in certain industries are likely to earn more. Also, polysomnographic technologists who have gained several years of experience can earn as much as $10,000 more per year as their value increases to their employers or other potential employers. Most technologists of this kind will also receive benefits, including health insurance and vacation time.

Career Outlook

These kinds of technologists, falling under the broader category of medical assistants, will see their industry grow at a rate of approximately 31% between now and the year 2020. This growth rate is much faster than those of other industries as medical awareness grows and more individuals seek treatment for sleep disorders and conditions.

A polysomnographic technology career may be right for you if you have an analytical mind, you are outgoing and you have a desire to help individuals feel better and have a better quality of life.