A Call to Arms
The AAST has called us to arms. Our future is banging on the door and we do need to embrace it. Many of us saw the handwriting on the wall and have attended the sleep educators coarse with the desire to earn a new credential. Why do we want this new credential? Who told us this would be the next step and the best idea? The AAST hopes to step up and support the move to degree programs. Advanced education -- embracing the skills of the educator as well as the statistician who can prove outcomes -- is what is needed. We have an idea what the balance of the degree should be, but I believe that many would miss the classes that specifically would help the technologists the more.
We always need to be on top of the new technology; including HST, dental sleep therapy and the new surgical options. But there is so much more. We need to understand age-related competencies. We need to understand education and educational styles. We need to understand learning styles. We need to know some cognitive behavioral therapy.
We need to understand how to create outcome reports and run studies that prove the improvement in quality of life. This is what reimbursement will be based on.
This is the time for our field to change and the only way we can do it is if we work together. With this in mind we should move past old animosities and angers and come together. We need to become a group that can draw from each other. In the case of outcome-based medicine we need to be working to create studies that justify our care. We are about to grow and we need to come together as a group through the AAST and the BRPT or one of the other national associations such as ASET or AARC. Just remember it is important to be involved and informed.