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Polysomnographic Technology (Sleep Technologists)
From sleep apnea to narcolepsy to insomnia—there are 84 different classifications of sleep disorders and more than 70 million Americans suffer from sleeping disease. In fact, sleep disorders have become one of the fastest growing health concerns today with an 18% job growth expected through 2024. For these reasons, Genesee Community College’s Polysomnographic Technology program helps train sleep technologists and prepares them for great careers in this emerging healthcare specialty.
Where Sleep Techs Work & What they do
Sleep techs or polysomnographic technologists work closely with physicians assisting in the diagnosis of sleep-related problems and supporting patients. There are more than 2,500 accredited sleep centers across the nation, associated with hospitals or as independent clinics. In either setting, sleep techs monitor patients’ breathing, blood oxygen levels, brain waves, eye movements, muscle tone, and other clinical variables using highly specialized equipment. They also counsel patients in the use of respiratory and sleep devices to aid in sleep disorder breathing, and explain all the nuances of the home study sleep testing kits prescribed to some patients as an early screening process.
What Sleep Techs Study
Students complete GCC’s 61-credit Polysomnographic Technology program in four semesters with full-time enrollment. Coursework directly related to the program curriculum include Physiology of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Study Instrumentation, Sleep Disorders and Polysomnography (PSG) I through IV, including a section on Infant and Pediatric PSG. The academic program also includes two clinical practice opportunities where the newly learned skills are applied in local sleep clinic.
- As a license qualified program, GCC’s polysomnographic technology graduates can enter the workforce after earning their GCC degree. Graduates then have one year to take their board exams to become a fully licensed polysomnographic technologist. (NYS now requires all polysomnographic technologists to be licensed, similar to respiratory and nursing healthcare professionals.)
- GCC’s location between the major cities of Buffalo and Rochester provides ample clinical and employment access.
- GCC's state-of-the-art Sleep Tech lab offers all the latest equipment, yet the small classroom setting gives students exceptional training and one-on-one instruction.
Marshann Thomas, Ed. M., RPSGT, RRT
Director of Polysomnographic Technology
Phone: 585-343-0055 ext. 6188
Those choosing a sleep tech career appreciate all the benefits of a healthcare profession—from the satisfaction of helping people and improving their lives, to job security and comfortable wages. Sleep techs however, enjoy many other benefits including working with patients who are generally quiet, in most labs no weekend or holiday shifts are required, along with the ability to provide quality care in a relaxed environment. Some sleep techs have even earned another online degree while working! In addition, the work-related stress of a sleep tech is nonexistent compared to the airborne diseases, bodily fluids and life or death circumstances that often predominant other healthcare professions.
Lastly, sleep tech salaries are excellent. The annual base salary of a polysomnographic technologist in New York ranges from $62,000 in the New York City area, to $50,000 in the Buffalo area. Click on any of the links below to view salary charts for different sleep tech positions: