Where Do We Find Quality Teachers?
I can tell you I learned sleep due to people sharing their knowledge in books and at conferences. I took advantage of my manufacturers' representatives. I will forever be grateful to those who helped me to become a sleep tech. Now I have moved to a place where I can help shape the next generation of technologists, who will be well educated because we can create classes and degree programs to help them.
But where are the people to help create these programs? As techs, we need to expand not just our sleep knowledge, but also our general knowledge. Many people who enter this field do not wish to get a formal education. They do not understand that those who have gotten a formal education not only have passed the RPSGT exam more easily but are also will be the educators, leaders and managers in the future. As well, at the school where I teach, there has been a challenge in finding qualified teachers because instructors need to have a degree.
My degrees are in respiratory therapy and organizational management. I chose to advance my education because I knew that learning about management would help me in the future. I also understand that I will continue to need to advance my education, and I plan on getting an MBA in health care administration. I believe it is important to understand the laws and business involved in creating a successful business. I also will have the knowledge to run a lab more successfully if I choose to go back to the lab. If I do not go back to the lab, I might be able to share my knowledge with the next manager of a successful lab. Either way this education is going to be used to change the field.
So where do we find the quality teachers? If RPSGTs are not willing to get an education, then we will have to look to other fields, such as EEG, to find out instructors. I believe in the people in this field and know there are some great teachers out there who want to help create our next generation. I hope to see you step up, and maybe we can even have a breakout for educators in sleep and NDT at the next BRPT or Sleep conference. We can help create curriculum and lesson plans together. We can share what we have learned during our teaching.
According to the BRPT website, in this country there are 24 NDT programs, 40 PSG programs and 11 RT programs with sleep add-ons. This is not even close to enough programs to supply the need, and it is our generation that needs to step up to help the next one.