Sleep Technologist Appreciation Week is October 4-10, 2010. St. John’s
Medical Center would like to recognize Joe Burke, RRT, RPGST and Roger
Olin, RRT, RPGST who assist in the evaluation and follow-up care of patients
with sleep disorders in the St. John’s Sleep Disorder Center. The
sleep technologists work under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Shilling and
Dr. Mark Rasmus in providing assistance in assessing, monitoring and testing
patients to evaluate, manage and prevent sleep-related disorders.
An estimated 50 million to 70 million people of all ages in the U.S. suffer
from a chronic sleep disorder including insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA), narcolepsy or restless legs syndrome. If left untreated, a sleep
disorder can have a detrimental effect on overall health and well-being;
OSA has been linked to such problems as motor vehicle accidents, high
blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
An overnight sleep study is the primary way for a sleep technologist to
evaluate a patient’s sleep pattern. It provides a quantitative measurement
by recording parameters such as brain waves, heart rate, breathing rate
and oxygen levels, as well as eye, chin and limb movements.
Many sleep technologists work the night shift, interacting directly with
patients to initiate overnight sleep studies and to provide constant monitoring
until morning. For patients who show signs of OSA during the sleep study,
the sleep technologist may administer positive airway pressure therapy
to restore normal breathing. Under the supervision of the sleep specialist,
technologists may also provide analysis of the raw data from a sleep study
and assist in the day-to-day administrative and managerial needs of a
sleep center or lab.
www.tetonhospital.org/sleep or call 307-739-7300 for more information on the services available through
the St. John’s Sleep Disorder Center.