How Much Do Polysomnographic Technologists Make?

The average salary of registered polysomnographic technologists in the United States is $51,523 but may range from $52,199 to $64,488. Their salary depends on the following criteria:

  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Additional skills
  • Number of years spent in this profession
  • Place of work

What is polysomnography?

Polysomnography (PSG) or sleep study is a test used to diagnose various sleep disorders. It records your brain waves, the oxygen level in the blood, heart rate, muscle movements, eye movements, and breathing during the study. In this sleep study, you may have to stay at a sleep center or sleep lab overnight. PSG monitors your sleep stages and cycles to identify the exact cause of sleep problems.

PSG is usually prescribed to diagnose diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and sleep terrors.

What does a polysomnographic technologist do?

A polysomnographic technologist is a specialist who works closely with a physician to assist in the diagnosis of sleep-related problems and support patients. They train or supervise trainees and technicians who assist in performing sleep studies. The various functions of polysomnographic technologists include:

  • Taking care of the specialized sleep monitoring equipment and keeping it calibrated
  • Explaining the procedures to patients before and after the study and answering questions
  • Taking patient consent before the study
  • Taking patient history before the procedure
  • Connecting sensors on patients before the study and removing them afterward
  • Evaluating more than 70 sleep-wake disorders
  • Recording the patients’ brain activity, heart rate, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen levels
  • Making observation notes about patients as they sleep
  • Collating data from reports and preparing a sleep study analysis
  • Analyzing and scoring the sleep study and sending it to the doctor who specializes in Sleep Medicine; the doctor further interprets the data and suggests a treatment
  • Counseling the patients to use respiratory and sleep devices to aid in sleep disorder breathing

How do you become a polysomnographic technologist?

To become a polysomnographic technologist, you must have:

  • a degree in polysomnography (PSG) technology.
  • hands-on experience in skills such as placing electrodes, arranging the measuring tools on the patient, monitoring the patients, and sleep study.
  • certification to become a board-registered polysomnographic technologist.

You can also gain equivalent proficiency in another healthcare-related occupation and then cross-train in PSG.

The coursework directly related to the program curriculum includes:

  • Physiology of sleep medicine
  • Anatomy of the human body
  • Sleep study instrumentation
  • Sleep disorders and PSG
  • Infant and pediatric PSG
  • Two clinical practice opportunities or internship

What qualifications do you require to become a polysomnographic technologist?

To undergo training for polysomnographic technologists, you should have training in various other subjects:

  • Computer science
  • Physical and life sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Mathematics including algebra, trigonometry, and statistics

Some of the desired skills required to become a polysomnographic technologist include:

  • Speech and interpersonal communications
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Willing to do night shifts
  • Ability to differentiate the key points


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