RPSGT Competency

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RPSGT Competency

Postby SleepyT » Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:36 pm

Hello again:

I agree. If one compares the matrix of the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) exam to the matrix of the Respiratory Therapist exam, it can be observed that sleep is only scattered about occasionally in the latter. An RCP, RPSGT told me that she was only asked one sleep question on her Respiratory exam, and that was a historical question citing Pickwickian Syndrome.

She further stated that nothing in her respiratory training, exam or clinical experience adequately prepared her for her job in the sleep lab. She stated that only after she specially trained to sit for her RPSGT exam did she feel she was competent to perform sleep studies. Dually credentialed individuals (RCPs and RPSGTs) of this opinion could be our profession's strongest grassroots advocacy voice...

On the other hand, observing the BRPT Comprehensive Registry Examination matrix, it's pretty obvious it's certainly all about sleep and polysomnography functions necessary to prove competency to perform polysomnograms and related procedures in the sleep center setting. I think the recent strides of the BRPT program becoming accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the National Organization for Competency Assurance, can no longer afford RPSGTs to be ignored by policy makers or state regulatory boards.

The APT Legislative Action Committee (LAC) has been actively pointing out these differences in the two professions you speak of on all fronts. APT has more documents in draft awaiting valued input by colleagues in other sleep-related organizations. The launch of these items are expected in the very near term. Educating our own colleagues, policy makers and regulatory boards to these differences is paramount at this time.

Thank you for writing your advocacy letters to Florida. It made a difference, and the wording of the proposed exemption language is beneficial for polysomnographic job description levels. It gives the trainee (technician included under that "trainee" umbrella in their language) a registry eligible period of 36 months in which to successfully complete the BRPT Comprehensive Registry Examination. Not yet subject to the state's administrative rules process as set by the state's regulatory board, SB2618 as it stands today still does take in sleep procedures into the Respiratory scope of practice as written. This has more to do with a drive coming from national efforts, however, it is believed that changes will come soon.

If you need a copy of the APT-AASM-BRPT-ASET Job Descriptions, standards for Polysomnographic Technologists, Polysomnographic Technicians and Polysomnographic Trainees, please refer to the www.aptweb.org homepage, and check for other documents under the "action" tab.

There are a number of state Sleep Professionals that have advocated and successfully gained exemption for Sleep Techs from Respiratory Care Practice Acts. Other states' Sleep Professionals have recently also introduced state exemption language, and APT will be asking you to again write letters of support in the very near term. These individuals have tremendous advocacy support from Sleep Physicians and Clinicians, as well as other groups.

Our colleagues that elected to make themselves truly familiar with state legsilative processes and aligned themselves with the national Sleep efforts have absolutely become the strength of the various successful campaigns. Only one voice from the entire team can accomplish great things, and sadly there are still those that wish to divide that. People such as yourself that never stop educating others about Sleep and on the importance of one international voice are the backbone of our profession.

Without the dedication of advocates like you, these great strides for our profession in the legislative arena would not be possible. We have learned from the recent campaigns, that letters from advocates in all states were considered, contrary to only residents of that particular state having a voice. I think this speaks volumes to the strength we have as one voice in the international Sleep Community.

If you would like a free electronic copy of " Political Advocacy for Allied Health Organizations: An Effective & Efficient Grassroots Advocacy Approach" graciously made available to APT for its members and colleagues by the Coalition for Allied Health Leaderhip, Health Professions Network, National Commission on Allied Health, The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, and the National Network for Health Career Programs in Two-Year Colleges, please write to: aptACTION@aptweb.org

Please tell ask three colleagues you know to join in grassroots advocacy efforts, and ask them to please also ask three colleagues. When we speak from the perspective of the choices we have as members of the Sleep Community that draw wages from polysomnographic-related jobs in the Sleep Arena, there's only two real choices---You're either for the profession....or You're not.
Thanks for everything.

Be well,

Association of Polysomnographic Technologists
Theresa Shumard, APT Director-at-Large
APT Legislative Action Committee, Co-Chair
APT LAC Eastern US Representative
APT Communications Chair
Fax: 781-823-4787
E-mail: SleepAdvocacy@yahoo.com
Website: www.aptweb.org

"Only those willing to chase the dream will be close enough to catch it." --PWW

In a message dated 4/6/2003 9:16:16 AM Eastern Daylight Time, APTaction writes:

Subj: Fwd: SB2618
Date: 4/6/2003 9:16:16 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: APTaction
To: Sleepeditor

In a message dated 3/31/2003 9:27:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time, SLEEPGUY writes:

Subj: SB2618
Date: 3/31/2003 9:27:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: SleepGuy
To: aptAction@aptweb.org
Sent from the Internet

Why do we never point out that respiratory therapists ARE NOT trained to do our jobs??? This is the letter I sent.


Dear Senator Brennen:

The most troubling thing about passage of SB2618, as it is written, is that it will, by law, allow the practice of a highly specialized and detailed profession by those with no training or skill in it. Though the performance of polysomnographic testing does indeed involve the practice of applying oxygen and "PAP", or Positive Airway Pressure, there are many patients that present for sleep testing for disorders that have nothing to do with any kind of breathing disorder.

For those individuals who are being evaluated for sleep apnea and the use of PAP, these studies and this mode of treatment are being prescribed by physicians who have already evaluated such patients for the appropriateness and risks of such modalities of treatment. The need to "evaluate" a patient for such appropriateness, contrary to what Respiratory Therapists might have you believe, is completely uneccessary .

The primary tasks of the polysomnographic technologist is that of: accurately applying appropriate monitoring sensors, transducers and equipment; insuring the proper operation of such equipment, including polygraphs and computerized data acquisition systems, throughout the procedure; the review of recorded physiologic data as it's being recorded and determination if patients are awake or asleep, whether or not they are having pathological events, whether or not those events warrant initiation or changes of treatment modalities, and; the tabulation and summarization of such data, after the studies are completed, for review and interpretation by physician sleep specialists. The application and adjustment of oxygen and/or PAP, though important, is but a very small part of the tasks performed by the polysomnographic technologists during their shifts.

And other than the application of oxygen and the application of PAP in an acute care setting (whereas polysomnographic technologists work to apply these treatments for long-term use), respiratory care practitioners have no training or expertise in the bulk of the tasks necessary to perform sleep studies, unless they receive the specialized care necessary to make them sleep technologists. Such training is NOT provided by respiratory therapy departments or schools. Therefore, I have concerns that SB2618 will have a serious adverse impact on the future of my profession in Florida and across the country, and more importantly, a negative impact on the quality of care that will occur as the result of mandating the performance of sleep studies by untrained or hastily trained respiratory care practitioners, since the availability of trained respiratory care practitioners and RPSGTs is limited. This bill was drafted without input from Florida Sleep Community and the national sleep professional organizations for this community who set national standards and guidelines for the field of Sleep Medicine.

Although the bill does contain language exempting sleep professionals who have obtained certification, there are no provisions to allow persons working toward certification in polysomnographic technology to obtain the experience currently required to sit for the credentialing exam without violating the provisions of the law. These are the individuals who make up the bulk of the "front line staff" performing these procedures, and whose jobs will be eliminated by the enactment of SB 2618.

SB 2618 is not in the best interest of public health and welfare for healthcare consumers in Florida. I respectfully request that you prevent this bill from moving through the committee, and allow the Florida sleep community the opportunity to work with the respiratory care community to craft a bill without the above cited provisions.

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