I am excited to see the elections this year. There are many new people on the ballot and the desire to bring new blood into the AAST and for more people to be involved is very exciting. I have also seen more people volunteering for committees. This again is exciting as our field grows and changes.
Why am I so excited? Well, it came on the heels of an experience my dean had when he visited a hospital. It appears there are still many people who believe that the field of sleep is going away. A program director at a local hospital told him that the field is dead and that there is no hope of a future. Of course I do not believe it. I believe that our field is growing and changing and that there isindeed a future. It is this belief that others also have that leads them to volunteer for the association.
Are there labs closing? Absolutely -- labs that were not designed to be successful but instead were designed to diagnose sleep apnea only or test a patient and never follow up. I also know labs that are growing. They are labs that understand that sleep education and follow-up is part of the role of the technologist. They understand that the new credential is going to be a necessary part of the field. They understand that support groups and clinics are the best way to grow a lab.
The labs that are growing need to share their success. The labs that are struggling need to be open to new ideas. I think that lack of being open is going to go away (just like those who were in respiratory therapy and refused to sit for their certification no longer work in the field). And those who are not getting their registry will have difficulty gaining employment in the future. It is about looking to the future and growing rather than looking at the present and the past and saying I am good enough as-is.
Whether working in the field of sleep or in respiratory, it is essential that we grow and volunteer and continue to look toward the future. It is why you need to vote in the elections and volunteer for committees. And I hope to talk to you during one of the teleconferences soon.