ASTEP Programs

American Association of Sleep Technologists
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American Association for Respiratory Care
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American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists

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Postby Jayhawkhenry » Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:55 am

I agree with REMrebounder. Standardizing is what it is all about. In the early days of RT, before 2 & 4 year programs existed, you took a two week course without OJT and went to work, with a state license under your belt.

A-step is a start until better programs are in place. We applied for one so our tech would be able to sit for boards. We are also working with 2 community colleges to get their programs up and running.

Education is all good.. :wink:
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Postby RPSGT88athome » Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:35 am

Well HooRAH!

Andrew, aren't you a Marine?

Respect.

RPSGT88
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ASTEP is a good starting point.

Postby Sleepladypalmdesert » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:37 am

I recently hired a transfer from another department within our hospital. The woman I hired is a Medical Assistant with EMT. She has worked as advanced cardio tech (stress treadmills, etc.) We hired her and sent her to the ASTEP course, not to be the end all, but the start. She learned the patient hook up, impedances, monitoring devices. She came back with a nice basis from which to grow. I have paired her with an experienced tech who has over 5 years experience. She was given 1 patient for 2 months. When that hook up became easy, I added the second. She gets QA feedback on each and every patient/study she puts out. She is progressing very nicely and I believe in 18 months she will be ready to sit for her boards. I believe there is a good place for these A-Step courses. I am a REEGT, RPSGT....who started my sleep career after a 2 week course at Stanford back in the 80's. Even though, I agree, we need 2 year fullly accrediated programs. I would like to send another trainee...but am a little worried about this new RT issue...we are in CA. I am waiting so see...and possibly hiring an RT, for way too much, to do the job not as well as a carefully chosen trainee with a good attitude. :roll:
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Postby Plain » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:08 am

Hi sleepylady. I understand that the situation in Cali must be very frustrating. Is there that much of a salary discrepency between sleep & respiratory?
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Postby zack » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:16 am

polysomprincess wrote:.... I wouldnt send my dog there for testing or treatment..sad to say if THEY passed AASM accreditation then anyone can... and if they are allowed to open there doors and teach sleep medicine they anyone can...


And charge a ridiculous amount of money I hear. :shock:
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Postby Jayhawkhenry » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:47 am

How much should someone charge for an Astep class. Providing it is worth a darn???? :-k How about a poll?? :idea:
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There is a difference....

Postby Sleepladypalmdesert » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:53 am

"Hi sleepylady. I understand that the situation in Cali must be very frustrating. Is there that much of a salary discrepency between sleep & respiratory"

In my hospital there is quite a difference at the training level. There are just not too many well trained sleep techs out here. To take a RT and then train...I would essentially have a trainee. They do know CPAP...but do not have the ability to correlate it to polysomnography as a whole. They do not know REM sleep, arousals, narcolepsy, insomnias, movement disorders, nocturnal seizures....etc. But, just try to tell them that. My experience is that they hit the door with a superior attitude. I just haven't found the RT trainees to be all that teachable. They would take a great deal of training before they could be able to work independently and they would cost close to 30.00/hr...for a trainee. Once well trained, a RPSGT and RT make pretty close to the same rate. It is the cost of a RT trainee that would be so costly. I would take a RT, RPSGT in a heart beat. I have a couple who work on my team and they are great...but no greater than my REEGT, RPSGTs or straight RPSGTs. [/quote]
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Postby Plain » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:37 am

No offense to RRT / RPSGT's.....I are one......but maybe you could get approval for a lower starting sleep lab salary that balances out once the applicant has passed the boards. If sleep salaries were lower for respiratory, maybe that'd be a "back end" way of discouraging the invasion?
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Postby zack » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:25 pm

Can we here from more people that have taken the A STEP courses? I'm eager to hear what they thought, and if they have taken the BRPT exam how helpful it was?
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Re: There is a difference....

Postby labman2 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:29 am

Sleepladypalmdesert wrote:" I have a couple who work on my team and they are great...but no greater than my REEGT, RPSGTs or straight RPSGTs.
[/quote]

All my RPSGTS are straight ! :wink:

What?- Oh she meant that?= never mind!! :oops: :oops:
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Postby sleepingbrian » Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:36 pm

I took the A-STEP program last year. I had no prior background in sleep. It was very informative. I learned how to do the basic patient hookup. However, I also learned a great deal about the science of sleep.

An A-STEP program is simply a place to start. You are tought that you are a trainee for 6 months. Then a technician for another year under the direction of the RPSGT. After that 18-months of on-the-job training, you can then sit for the board exam. For those who have other credentials, they can sit for the board exam after the initial 6-month trainee period ends.

No one who takes an A-STEP program could reasonably believe that they are ready to be on their own immediately or that they will make the pay that the RPSGT makes. That is all explained very well in the course.
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Postby Sleepladypalmdesert » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:05 pm

I have a tech who took the A-Step course in San Antonia, Texas. She was an experienced Cardiology tech and medical assistant, so had some medical background...wasn't a complete rookie.....and she came back trained better than many techs who have been in the field for some time. He hook-ups are excellent and she has a good basic understand of our field. She is not ready to be left completely alone...still needs help with CPAP decisions and I have her paired with an experienced tech for this reason. I am sure the A-Step courses vary....but this particular person is doing quite well. It is not cheap...when one considers tuition, air travel, housing, etc. But I believe with some elbow grease she will be board eligible in a year or so. So....I think that this may be a reasonable entry level alternative until there are enough accredited schools to provide entry level techs for us. I am also in an area that the nearest training center is over 100 miles away. We would have difficulty getting good qualified techs without a program like A-Step.
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Postby somnonaut » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:14 pm

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ASTEP is needed

Postby Sleeping early » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:27 am

As with any growing field comes baby steps, and learning the correct fundamentals to a profession is the ideal. The idea of the ASTEP program is for initial training of those who want to pursue a profession in sleep medicine, I feel it is a good stepping stone until, adequate 2 year programs are up and running. I have been a little dissatisfied with how easy it is for some to get accredited. I feel it is like buying a care, just don't go out and buy one without doing a little research first. Don't just goto the first program you notice, research who the instructors are, how long have they been in sleep, how is the didactic and practical approach taught and look at the syllabus, each program is unique. However if the AASM is truely investigating and evaluating those who apply it should give some continuity to the programs offered instead of everyone offering a fly by the seat of your pants program.
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Postby Don't Dream & Drive! » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:38 am

The material covers everything you are told to study for your boards plus much more. I do agree though that techs still need extensive training especially if they do not come from a medical background. Even with a medical background, you need extensive training in sleep. I am worried about them flooding the market with sleep technologists. What do you guys think?
Last edited by Don't Dream & Drive! on Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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