Polysomnographic technicians monitor the activity of adults and pediatric patients as they undergo sleep study testing, called polysomnographs. Sleep study results can be used by physicians to diagnose disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless legs symdome. Once diagnosed, an effective course of treatment can begin, often having a major impact on a patient’s quality of life.
The technician works under the supervision of a polysomnographic technologist or clinical director, and conducts a variety of tasks in preparing patients for a sleep study and performing the testing. Before the study, the technician takes a thorough patient history, explains the procedure to the patient, and applies electrodes and sensors to measure heart rate, respirations and brain activity during sleep.
During the study, they observe patients, collect data and summarize information for the physician. Technicians also perform therapeutic interventions such a continuous or bi-level positive airway pressure and oxygen administration.
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