Review, Review, Review!
The one thing I can tell you as I teach is how much reviewing the rules is important. I have recently taught scoring and titration. As I am going through the curriculum it is always helpful to remember that reviewing the rules makes me a stronger technologist.
Titration is the heart and soul of our profession. As we were reviewing proper titration I was reminded how important educating our patients is. Anatomy and physiology of sleep apnea and why CPAP works helps to make a patient more compliant. Finding the right mask and trialing more than one mask may not make our nights easier, but it will make the patient compliant over the long term; the real reason we do sleep studies.
Using proper titration, minimal pressures, pressure relief and ramp helps make the night more successful. We also need to remember how long between increases in pressure and that according to the AASM the pressure should be increased by only 1cm with a wait of at least 5 minutes between titrations.
Scoring is a little more difficult to teach. The rules are black and white, but the studies are never quite so clear. This is as much an art as it is a science. We look at sleep onset and discuss epochs. Then the thought is shared, maybe one or two epochs in the grand scheme of a study is not enough to make us crazy. It became more a discussion of what do each of us think and ultimately a consensus of what is right. The bigger challenge is when there is differences between EEG and sleep and the questiond arise as to how we are able to tell what is alpha and do we have time to count waves when we will be scoring 5-8 studies a day or score on the fly.
What I learn doing this teaching is how much I gain from my students when I review the rules and review studies with them. I remember that I gain so much more skill from them and am able to be a better technologist for my patients.