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Adventures in Sleep

Avoid Taking Shortcuts in the Sleep Lab

Published August 20, 2010 10:22 AM by Amy Reavis
I've been involved in sleep for the past 10 years, and I can tell you that I still measure every patient's head when I do a setup. My setups take between 45 minutes and an hour. I have never really gotten much faster than that. I think it's because I really believe that if you take your time and measure and clean the sites well, you will get the best results. Unfortunately, many technicians out there would not agree with me.

I have had techs who don't know how to measure a head or tell me they have been doing it so long they don't need to measure anymore. These same technicians also use a great deal of paste on the leads to get low impedances. Although low impedance is important, doing a good job with a setup is an essential part of our job.

Techs take other shortcuts. Some refuse to learn to stage. They feel their job description doesn't include scoring, and if they learn how to do it, then they might be required to score during the night. How do you know when to split a patient or increase the pressure if you don't know how to stage a patient? We need to be expanding what's demanded of us day and night if we want our labs to grow. This means always learning new skills and taking on new tasks.

How do you encourage your staff to perform quality work?


Thanks Sharon! We appreciate the positive feedback. Good luck with your respiratory training!


Mike Bederka, Editor

Mike Bederka September 2, 2010 2:02 PM

I am a new student in this field and my instructor suggested this magazine. In the Fall of 2011, I will start the respiratory therapy part of my training. I have read the magazine my instructor supplied to the class, and I feel that it contains a lot of helpful information plus all the new techniques. I think that I will like this magazine and the articles are very helpful. Thank you for making this magazine available.

Sharon Jones, polysomnography - student, Wallace State Community College August 26, 2010 10:07 AM
Hanceville AL

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About this Blog

    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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