Darton State College Health Sciences Division | Polysomnographic Technology - Frequently Asked Questions
Polysomnographic Technology Program
Frequently Asked Questions
- Polysomnographic Technicians and Technologists are the healthcare professionals that help people with a variety of sleeping and daytime alertness disorders. There is a large range of sleep disorders including such common disorders as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnias, restless leg syndrome, bruxism and many others. Polysomnographic Technicians and Technologists operate a variety of sophisticated electronic monitoring devices which record brain activity (EEG), muscle and eye movement, respiratory effort, oxygen saturation of hemoglobin, and other physiological parameters. Polysomnographic Technicians and Technologists are also involved in evaluation of various treatment methods, as well as the staging of sleep and certain physical events (called scoring the study).
- Where do Polysomnographic Technicians and Technologists work?
- The majority of Polysomnographic Technologists work in Sleep Disorder Centers which may be hospital based, privately owned or part of a medical center. Some are employed by Home Health companies and Medical Equipment sales. Others may be traveling technologists, do scoring from home, or are involved in education.
- How much do Polysomnographic Technicians and Technologists make?
- The salary for a Polysomnographic Technician and Technologist varies depending on geographic location, experience, level of education and certification. In this area, the verbal responses from different managers range from $28,000 to $37,000. Sales, traveling Technicians and Technologists, and home scoring may vary greatly, but is usually above the salary of those working in the hospital or private clinic.
- What is the difference between a Polysomnographic Technician and a Polysomnographic Technologist?
- According to the American Association of Sleep Technologists, a Polysomnographic Technician has not passed the national credentialing exam or has not renewed it as is required. A Polysomnographic Technician performs comprehensive polysomnographic testing and analysis, and associated interventions under the general oversight of a Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) and/or the clinical director (MD, PhD, DO) or designee.
A Polysomnographic Technologist has passed the national credentialing exam. A Polysomnographic Technologist works under the general supervision of the clinical director (MD, PhD, DO) or designee to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders. This may involve all of the responsibilities of the Polysomnographic Technician as well as patient care and education.
- Can I complete the program as a part time student?
- Generally speaking no. Students can complete the general education and basic science courses on a part time basis before beginning the Polysomnographic Technology professional courses. The professional courses are offered in sequence and students must complete all of the courses required for a particular semester in that semester in order to advance to the next semester. The regular program track requires students to be able to attend classes Monday thru Friday during the day and sometimes in the evening.
- When will my clinical rotations be and what are the hours?
- The clinicals are designed to average 36-40 hours of clinical time per week for the summer or 24-36 hours of clinical time per week for the fall semester under an experienced Polysomnographic Technologist or Technician at an approved Sleep Disorder Center. The majority of the clinical time will be at nights, and they may involve traveling out of town to assigned clinical sites.