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Adventures in Sleep

The True Problem in Our Sleep Field

Published June 27, 2013 3:43 PM by Amy Reavis

It is amazing what I keep reading. Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by Chicken Little saying the sky is falling. All I ever hear anymore is that the field is being taken over by OCST and the insurance companies.  Then I get a test asking for the name of a good tech that is registered and can score because a lab has an opening.

Our field is changing; there is no question that it is. But there will always be jobs for those who can deal with the problem at hand, be creative and help to change the perspective of those around us. 

To this end I want to steer you to a book called My Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter. You literally can read it in about 90 minutes. It talks about how to deal with dramatic change and how to change how you run business to deal with this new way of life. It is really an eye opener if you feel you are overwhelmed by change and by those with a negative or tan ostrich-in-the-sand outlook.

In our case you need to start looking at yourself more like a physician extender than as a tech who runs a sleep study. You need to be an expert in your field. You need to be the resource to whom your physicians turn.

I have a friend who runs a hospital-based lab and she is having no issues with the number of patients they are seeing. She is the resource the doctors go to when they have a difficult patient. She has technicians who will go the extra step for the patients when they are in the lab. Her technicians are always looking for the newest education. They have accepted the change in our field and they understand they have to create the environment that will allow them to stay employed.

So step up techs, stop whining and start getting creative and find a new iceberg to live on.

9 comments

I loved reading this as I do what I do because of passion and vision, hoping that many of you as well!  Thank you for sharing this post! Sweet Dreams

Raquel Rothe, Sleep Medicine - Owner/Respiratory Therapist, Sleep EZ Diagnostic Center July 17, 2013 1:54 PM
Salem VA

I completely agree; I am a tech who got tired of the hospital bureaucracy and opened my own lab and have been open for over five years.  Recently when interviewing five sleep techs for a position I gave them a simple math tech 27+13, 42-32, 52x44, 62/10 and none of them could get all four correct and write a basic sentence.  Basic skills and finding the correct tech, not the best resume for the job is what is needed instead of constant changing regulations by the BRPT.  

Tony, sleep - owner July 17, 2013 8:29 AM
georgetown KY

Sleep and RT are in that area RT was in several years ago with the Nurses. If you talk to the die hard neurodiagnostic sleep techs, they hate us. This is especially true in New York where you have to be and RT to do a titration. Turf protection is a real ongoing battle. I think there is room enough for all of us but we are not going anywhere if we don't reel in the insurance companies. Obama made one big mistake which is going to kill his plan -- he didn't put a cap on the insurance companies. Come 2014-2015, we are all in for a rude awakening and probably a 40% increase in cost for a descent plan or a $5-10,000 deductible plan. It is a disgrace.

Gary Rushworth, Polysomnography - Chief, LDC Sleep Centers July 17, 2013 2:05 AM
Milford CT

I completely understand where this post is coming from. Stay encouraged everyone and continue to embrace our field and its changes.

Tracy, Sleep Medicine - PSG Program Director, Concorde Career College July 16, 2013 11:35 AM
Memphis TN

Wonderful!!!  

Kim, Sleep Medicine - Supervisor, RPSGT, Elkhart General Sleep Disorder Center July 16, 2013 10:39 AM
Elkhart IN

Bravo!!

I have been saying the same thing to sleep professionals and HME staff.  

Donnie Brown-Hill, Sleep Medicine - RPSGT, RST, CSE July 3, 2013 7:18 PM
Birmingham AL

I operate a four bed hospital based AASM sleep center.  I have welcomed HST to assist patients that have poor insurance coverage compared to the high cost of in lab testing.  The pattern I have been seeing in the last six months, patients' insurance premiums are rising a minimum 10% per year, insurance companies are rationing health care with HST but patients are not using their health care benefits due to copays etc... thus the insurance companies are making substantial profits while sleep disorders are not being screened.

Jeff July 2, 2013 7:38 PM

I completely agree. It has opened up the opportunity for us to expand into other aspects for sleep medicine and to be able to focus more on patient education to improve compliance.

Charlotte Ramirez, Sleep Medicine - Operations Manager, Ballantyne Sleep July 2, 2013 12:26 PM
Charlotte NC

I completely agree and have been telling my staff this. Our positions are evolving, which is a good thing.

Danielle July 2, 2013 10:43 AM

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