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Should there be a minimum wage in Sleep?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:38 pm
by RPSGT88
If so, how much? Be reasonable. This is for real.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:59 pm
by TexasSleepguy
I am facing this very question..

A brand new tech with Zero exp and NO other credential I feel should start in the 9 to 12 an hour rage.

A Tech with 2 to 4 years exp. 12 to 14.

An RPSGT with 18 months exp.......18 to 20

An RPSGT with 5 or more Years......20 to 27 per hour.

You have to take into consideration differentials if you are in a hospital. In the last hospital I was with we had 7.50 in differntials. You must look at all these factors I think when setting a salary. Part of that Diff was relating to ACLS and PALS being current.

Do I think we need a minimum wage? Yeah i guess we should have one.


The above is based on the salary steps of the last Hospital I was working.

New tech

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:24 am
by peachfuzz03
I am a new tech ( just started in August) with no experience. I am going to Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology in January though. However, right now I am getting paid around $9.09. I work in a small hospital in a community of 8000 people though. That wage is including my 10% shift differential. Do I think it is enough? Sure. The hospital I work for is paying everytime I want to furthur my education. If I become certified, then my salary will increase, but we all know how long it takes to become certified. When I was in training, which was all of two weeks I was geeting $8.58 (including 10% shift differential). In a larger town, no this wage is not nearly enough. However, I am married, I am new, so I was not expecting a whole lot. When the responsibilities get increased I will also receive a raise. So I mean, really it isn't too bad.


PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:13 am
by sleepyeyed
I am a new tech, I'v been with the hospital about 2 years now with no exp. in the medical field, I worked for a DME company for about eight years. I am making 9.05 now with shift def. of 1.00 making it 10.05. If I work the day shift I make the 9.05. I'm half way through resp. school I taking classes through CCHS. And I'm also trying to get my RPSGT. I have sat 2 times last June making a 63% and last saturday. It was a hard test. the way they word the questions are confusing. Hope I did it this time will find out in Jan. When and if I get this, I will get a .75 cent raise per hour. And our hospital don't pay for anything, so it has become vary expensive for me. I hope I did it this time.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:07 am
by RPSGT88
I don't know how anyone can afford to eat on $8.56-10.05/hr.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:25 am
by MrTinNC
Lots of people eat on $ 5.35/hr and I'm sure it's not easy.


PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:52 am
by a_vdk
So $ 10.00 is not that far off. My attitude may not be a popular one but it appears that my wage offering is close to the industry standard. I just hired an LPN going to school for a business degree. She is going to MSNI the next time around. She was more than happy to start at $ 10.00 with ownership potential in a couple of years under contract. Since my other posts were deleted I will have her post her work experience here as she travels the road to success and independence.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:03 am
by RPSGT88
OK I just have to ask...

What does "ownership potential in a couple of years under contract" mean?


PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:50 am
by a_vdk
RPSGT88 wrote:OK I just have to ask...

What does "ownership potential in a couple of years under contract" mean?

The contract works like this (minus the small print):

My tech will prove competence and reliability of proper patient managment within 3 months ( lead placment, communication with refferal and patient, and basic acceptable business practice) she is compensated 100.00 per day with or without assistance for 10 hours work 3 days per week and works on a 1099 as a subcontrator. She will learn all aspects of the business from billing to patient care. If she fails to do good business, she makes no money. 401K, health, and pizza are provided by me as contracted. ( No pizza is not in the contract.)

This will work like a common franchise opportunity. If she proves worthy after 24 months and she has passed the BRPT exam she has the choice of either opening a lab as a Franchise in our name and make 30% of the tech portion profits, which is about 180.00 per patient, or continue on as just a tech offered the market rate at time of contract end ( to be agreed upon at contract end). I will provide her with all the necessary tools to succeed, such as eqiupment, supplies, initial patient load, MD, scorer, etc. The more beds managed and patients seen the more money made.

She also signed a non-compete for 24 months after contract end.

The contract is for two years.

Success is up to her and this is a basic outline.

I just realized my post was moved not deleted. I showed it to her and we agree that some of my wording and attitude is questionable in the post, but what I offer is worth the oppotunity. This could be the start of a profitable relationship =D>

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:05 am
by MrTinNC

I've been biting my tongue resisting the urge to reply to your earlier messages until I had a chance to count to ten, so to speak, and cool down a little. I'm so glad to hear you say that you now realize that some of your wording and attitude was questionable in the early posts.
You see, you joined a forum for sleep technologists and then proceeded to tell us all that our job is too easy, that we're just glorified babysitters who don't deserve to be paid more than $10/hr. Surely you must acknowledge that this job requires a set of skills that you apparently were not giving us due credit for.
First of all, the ability to ask the right questions and to take a proper patient history is not something just anyone would be able to do.
Secondly, the ability to properly measure and hook up an EEG is not something just anyone could do even with instruction.
Third, the ability to troubleshoot equipment failures and to make adjustments during a recording ( to remove artifact for example) is no simple high school graduate skill level either.
Fourth, the ability to recognize dangerous cardiac rhythms and to take proper action is nothing to sneeze at either.
Fifth, accurately identifying sleep stages ( or just being able to distinguish between wake and sleep for that matter) is no elementary skill.
Sixth, accurately counting respiratory events is no chore for an unskilled worker.
Seventh, responding appropriately in the face of suddenly changing situations such as severe desaturations requires exercising sound judgement that any old Joe Blow can not always be counted on to possess.
Eighth, the ability to do a proper CPAP titration is certainly no easy task for an unskilled worker.
Ninth, a good sleep technologist must possess knowledge of a number of pharmacologic agents and how they will affect sleep and patient safety. You sure wouldn't want your unskilled babysitter to send your patient off in his car too soon after taking some sedating medication .
Tenth, this job requires more than a basic set of computer skills.
Can your unskilled " tech " run proper calibrations and correct problems found there? Can your unskilled tech flip polarities and maintain good respiratory tracings throughout the study? Can he or she interface all the sophisticated equipment. Can he or she distinguish between an actual event and a misplaced airflow sensor. Can he or she distinguish an actual event from a leak in the CPAP device? Can your unskilled tech successfully follow established policies and procedures?
Just a few examples and there are certainly others.
I think once you start training your tech you may find that things aren't as easy as they seem to you. I think you probably perceived sleep as a piece of cake job because you already possessed many of the skills due to your respiratory background, but that does not mean that they are not skills that every competent sleep person must possess. And if you are honest about it you will admit that even with your respiratory background you still had a lot to learn about sleep when you came to the field.
If your LPN/tech is willing to work for you for $10/hr then who can blame you ? But I don't think you should come on here telling all of us that we're not worth any more than that just because the pace is often slower than in respiratory therapy. Believe me I have some pretty hectic nights in sleep when everything that can go wrong does go wrong, when patients crash and have to be admitted to ICU, when their blood sugar drops dangerously low and they become unresponsive and require proper attention, when they develop chest pain or seizures. Not something that Joe OJT is going to be able to properly manage I can assure you. I would certainly hate to think of an unskilled babysitter doing everything I do in the course of my professional duties.
By the way, I am a currently licensed RRT with 20+ years experience prior to switching over to sleep 2 years ago. I add that last comment simply to show that not all respiratory therapists feel superior to or look down on people in the sleep field.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:15 am
by a_vdk
Points well taken. After yesterdays 24 hour shift diag/MSLT then to return after 4 hours sleep I am at a loss for words. I must be tired.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:24 am
by RPSGT88
a_vdk, I'm actually going to try and help you out with this one. Your LPN does not qualify for 1099 status using both sets of IRS guidelines for 1099 Independent Contractors: 20 question standard and criteria for "Behavioral Control, Financial Control and Relationship of the Parties."

You're getting ready to be fined.

Also, does the LPN know that (under 1099) she has to pay double the amount of Social Security/Medicare taxes as well as all other taxes.

Some things you can't do for subcontractors:

A. Provide their training or require them to undergo specific training.
B. Require them to follow your instructions on where, when and how to do the work.
C. You should not be the only client (big giveaway).
D. You should not provide all the equipment, materials and facilities.
E. The individual should not be required to PERSONALLY perform the "contracted" services.
F. The individual should not be required to work set hours.
G. The work should not be performed solely on company premesis (big giveaway.)
H. The individual should not be required to follow a "set sequence" or routine in the performance of the work.
I. The individual should not be paid by the hour, week or month but by job.
J. The individual should not be free from suffering a loss or profit from performing services. (If she ruins a titration it has to come out of her pay to be a 1099.)
K. The individual should not be provided with health insurance or 401K.
L. At least 25% of the businesses in your field must treat similar workers as 1099 contractors. They don't.

Healthcare exemption does not apply.

You didn't have an Employment/IRS lawyer write that contract, right?

You should let the LPN know that when working 1099 "Contract," it is customary to receive a higher than standard rate to offset the additional taxes she has to pay. $10.00 and hour "contract" is less than $10.00/hr "employee." The company saves alot of money by not having to pay unemployment insurance and on and on.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:58 am
by a_vdk
My lawyer has advised her to start a corporation. She is responsible for all legal ramifications of her decision to enter a business relationship with my corporation and so on. She must start a corporation prior to her first scheduled contract work. In our contract I am released from most of the liabilities of the aformentioned. She is aware of the need and is recomended to seek legal counsel. Maybe subcotractor and 1099 are not the correct terms in this arrangment. I pay others to know better.

As long as she starts a corporation our business relationship will be less at risk to the scrutiny of the IRS. I am no lawyer and you have opened my eyes to some things I do not recall being advised on. I will let you know what my business lawyers response is.


PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:17 pm
by keal
All the hospital based sleep labs here in Hawaii pay sleep techs a respiratory rate if they are credentialed therapists, regardless if they are RPSGT(22.00-29.00). It is minimum qualification at my hospital to be RT/RPSGT.

The free-standing private labs pay much less 12.00 to 16.00 for just sleep tech with medical background, and up to 20.00/hr if only RPSGT.


Starting salary's

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:57 am
by TwinSmoke
I think, and this is just my opinion, that non registered techs with no prior medical exp. should start out at atleast $12 an hour, after all, this IS a professional job and pt's lives will be in their hands working alone most times. For someone with no prior medical background, that is alot to deal with. On the other hand if a tech is unregistered, but has experience, then I would suggest $16 an hour. An RPSGT should atleast make $20 an hour, and with exp. should make atleast 27 an hour if they have scoring abilities. And maybe more if you want to make them a senior tech or a lead tech. I work in Ft. Lauderdale Fl. and this is the payscale that we have here.