Polysomnographers, or sleep technologists, assist sleep specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, including breathing issues that cause problems with sleep. They may work in special sleep laboratories, academic settings or even in homes. The American Association of Sleep Technologists recommends that sleep technologists complete an accredited training program and become certified to enter the profession. Some states require sleep technologists to become certified and licensed.
The Stony Brook School of Health Technology and Management in New York offers a Polysomnography Technology Certificate that includes two five-week internships with 200 contact hours each. The curriculum provides training in cardiopulmonary physiology, cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment, polysomnography and patient evaluation. The Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland offers a certificate in polysomnographic technology for those who want an accelerated program. The program can be completed in less than a year, and it includes training in health-care systems, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and polysomnographic technology.
At the Central Florida Institute, students can complete an Associate of Applied Science in Sleep Studies Tech in about 14 months. The program includes 60.5 credit hours, so students must attend full time and take evening classes to finish in 14 months. Students in the program perform sleep studies, collect and analyze data, educate patients and work closely with sleep specialists. Wallace State Hanceville in Alabama offers a polysomnographic technologist certificate that can be earned in two semesters. Students work in a hands-on environment, observing sleep patients and collecting data for sleep studies. While collecting and analyzing data, they learn about sleep disorders and abnormal sleeping patterns.
Students who attend Minneapolis Community and Technical College can complete an Associate of Applied Science degree in polysomnography technology in two years. The 60-credit program is part of the school's Academy of Nursing, Counseling and Allied Healthcare, so students learn a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders. At Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, students can earn a certificate in polysomnography. The program includes 36 credit hours and can be completed in just over a year. Training includes classroom instruction in sleep, respiratory medicine, neurology and the behavioral sciences, as well as on-campus lab work and off-campus clinical work.
At Oregon Tech, students can complete a Polysomnography Technology Certificate or associate degree. The certificate program is 47 credits, which takes about 18 months to complete, and the associate program is 90 credits, which takes about three years. Both programs prepare students to sit for the certifying exam, but the associate program includes more general education courses. Students who attend Orange Coast College in California can complete an Associate of Science degree in polysomnographic technology in two years. Students who previously graduated from OCC’s Neurodiagnostic Technology or Respiratory Care programs can complete the degree in only 10 months. Students participate in clinical experience concurrent with classroom instruction, and graduates are prepared for national and state certifying exams.