By John Garcia, M.D., Sleep Medicine Specialist
Sleep technologist appreciation week gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate the dedicated service provided by the Gillette Sleep Health technologists.
Some do not know that four nights a week four technologists are caring for children in the sleep laboratory. During this time the sleep technologist do not take her eyes off the patient. This careful attention allows for the accumulation of data that is not otherwise easily gathered. It is routine for the Gillette Sleep Health technologists to identify a severe breathing problem or seizure that had been hidden because parents appropriately are not able to stay up all night and gather the data as these trained professionals do.
In addition to providing clinical care Gillette Sleep Health technologists are involved in teaching, policy creation, advocacy, research, and technical applications. They provide monthly in-service training integrating new technologies in the field. Two of our group chose to attend the regional policy creation seminar to help begin to alleviate the burden of sleep deprivation on our state's teenagers by advocating for an 8:30 AM high school start time.. The policy and procedure manual integrates recent research into technological applications provided on a nightly basis. These new technologies include average volume assured pressure support, transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring and actigraphy to name a few.
The technologists have partnered with almost every clinical subgroup in the hospital here at Gillette including the craniofacial clinic, postoperative nursing group, information technology, and neuromuscular diseases group. They are involved in ongoing data gathering for research with Rett syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and CPAP mask desensitization.
Together the group of sleep technologist represent over 100 years of total sleep technology experience. Over 1000 children and young adults have been served by the gillette sleep technologist since its inception six years ago. The dedicated service of the Gillette Sleep technologists is appropriately celebrated this week.