The BRPT has been a long-time proponent of formal education for sleep technologists. However, the majority of technologists entering the field still do so through on-the-job training and self-study education. Over the years the BRPT Education Advisory Committee has reviewed and approved alternative education programs for exam eligibility. In early 2012, in an effort to better recognize these education providers, the BRPT created the STAR (Sleep Technology Approved Resource) Program.
STAR designation is reserved for education programs that do not have CAAHEP or CoARC accreditation. Designation as a STAR provider is granted solely for the purpose of establishing candidate eligibility for the RPSGT and CPSGT exams.
STAR programs are assigned a program provider number allowing the STAR provider to track student performance on BRPT exams. New or already developed programs interested in STAR designation will need to complete an application form and undergo program review prior to approval. A STAR application and a current list of STAR programs can be found below.
Criteria for Star-Designated Education Programs
STAR-designated education programs:
- Use instructors and course developers who are credentialed in sleep technology and/or sleep medicine, respiratory care, electroneurodiagnostics, or their specialty field.
- Provide an examination at the completion of each topic or program to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the materials presented.
- Base content and information on current references and textbooks, and provide education and instructional methods in accordance with industry standards.
- Provide a certificate to document a student’s successful completion of each education module and/or the entire program.
STAR-designated programs fall into one or more of the following education categories:
- Self-Study. Programs consist of organized, self-paced, education tracts that are often computer-based.
- Focused. Programs include both self-study or expanded classroom education and at least 80 hours of lecture and on-site skills training.
- Focused 2. Programs include at least 80 hours of lecture and on-site skills training and MUST be paired with a Self-Study program to meet exam eligibility requirements. The Focused 2 program and the Self-Study program can be from the same STAR education provider or different STAR providers.
STAR-designated programs include the following topics:
- Polysomnograpic Instrumentation: Hardware and software instrumentation, such as A/D conversion, screen resolution, sampling rate, memory, filters, gain, sensitivity, polarity, equipment and computer interfaces; audio/video requirements.
- Sleep/Wake Physiology and Pathophysiology: Normal REM and NREM sleep; basic respiratory and cardiac physiology; effects of sleep disruption, sleep disorders, medications, and medical conditions; age specific variations and conditions.
- Sleep Disorders Classifications and Diagnostic Criteria: The International Classification of Sleep Disorders; Sleep Related Breathing Disorders; Parasomnias; Movement Disorders; Circadian Rhythm Disorders; Insomnia; Hypersomnia; Narcolepsy; Nocturnal Epilepsy.
- Polysomographic Procedures: PSG, MSLT, MWT, out of center sleep testing; actigraphy; recording protocols; pediatric parameters.
- Chart Review and Questionnaires: Medical and sleep history; procedure order; sleepiness scales, pre- and post-sleep questionnaires; anticipation of protocols, equipment and patient needs.
- Patient Interaction and Professionalism: Confidentiality; standards of conduct, age- and condition-specific considerations; communication; patient identification; patient assessment; patient follow up.
- Patient and Equipment Preparation: Patient orientation and education; room preparation; equipment, electrode and sensor selection; electrode and sensor application; montages; equipment calibration.
- Patient Monitoring: “Lights On” and “Lights Off”; documentation and observations; artifacts and troubleshooting; recognizing and responding to clinical events; waveform recognition; optimizing recording strategies and data acquisition.
- Patient Safety and Emergency Situations: Cleaning and disinfecting; recognizing and responding to patient and building emergencies; preventative maintenance; facility requirements; safe handling of sharp, contaminated, and hazardous materials.
- Therapeutic Interventions: Types of therapy: PAP, O2, oral appliance, position, surgery, NIV; masks and interfaces; leak, humidification, pressure release ventilation; titration protocols; compliance; risk factors.
- Scoring: AASM scoring manual: application of scoring rules for age, sleep stages, respiratory events, desaturations, arousals, movements, cardiac events; EEG variations and abnormalities.
- Data Analysis and Reporting: Technologist summary; graphic summary; calculations and measurements (e.g. RDI, AHI, ArI, PLMI, sleep onset, REM onset, sleep stage distribution); reporting parameters; physician notification and communication.
- Data Archiving and Storage: Devices; techniques; medical records requirements.
Important Changes to STAR Programs Effective 2020:
In an effort to assess the efficacy of STAR-designated education programs, the BRPT will implement a two-tiered checks and balances system beginning in 2020.
First, all existing STAR programs will be required to submit an annual report that outlines the following:
1. Number of completers.
2. Number of completers who took the CCSH / RPSGT / CPSGT exams.
3. CCSH / RPSGT / CPSGT pass rates for exam takers.
4. Job placement statistics.
5. Completer satisfaction survey results.
6. Personnel changes.
7. Curriculum / competency changes.
The first annual report is due January 31, 2020.
Then, in 2021, the BRPT will implement a 5-year renewal process for all STAR-designated education programs.
In addition to the annual report, a nominal annual fee to cover administrative costs will be required. More details will be forthcoming.