RPSGT Exam Blueprint

A new form of the RPSGT exam went into effect May 1, 2018.  All exam candidates sitting for the RPSGT exam on or after May 1 should review the exam blueprint found below.

The RPSGT examination consists of 175 multiple choice items. Of these, 150 items count toward the candidates’ scores and 25 are pretest items that are not scored.

General Knowledge Required:

Medical terminology, safety, verbal and written communication skills, ethics, patient confidentiality, basic patient care and emergency procedures, basic math skills and calculations, computer skills.

The Successful Candidate Will Have Knowledge Of:

Sleep disorders and diagnostic criteria, sleep related co-morbidities, anatomy and physiology, neurophysiology, cardiac physiology, respiratory physiology, sleep physiology, scoring rules, practice parameters, testing procedures, medications and over-the-counter products, basic knowledge of computers, EEG waveform morphology, instrumentation, intervention/treatment/therapy modalities, treatment modalities.

DOMAIN 1: CLINICAL OVERVIEW, EDUCATION, PATIENT SUPPORT  »  17.3%

TASK A: Patient information and clinical assessment »  42-58%

  1. Clinician’s orders and testing indications
  2. History and physical
  3. Sleep disorders (e.g., Circadian Rhythm Disorders, sleep disordered breathing, parasomnias)
  4. Medications (e.g., risks, implications, effects on sleep)
  5. Patient interview and orientation
  6. Establish clinical baseline (e.g., mobility, pain, vitals)
  7. Questionnaires (e.g., Epworth Sleepiness Scale, STOP-Bang, pre/post PSG)

TASK B: Patient and caregiver education »  23-38%

  1. Sleep hygiene
  2. Importance of therapy
  3. Sleep disorders

TASK C: Support and compliance »  15-23%

  1. PAP desensitization techniques
  2. PAP therapy (application and mechanics)
  3. Understand and respond to download report

DOMAIN 2: SLEEP STUDY PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE »  29.3%

TASK A: Technical preparation »  25-34%

  1. Equipment and supplies
  2. Montages
  3. Appropriate anatomical locations
  4. Site preparation and application
  5. Impedance verification
  6. Technical specifications and instrumentation

TASK B: Calibrations »  7-11%

  1. Recording device
  2. Ancillary equipment
  3. Physiologic verification

TASK C: Procedures and practice guidelines »  27-36%

  1. Adult PSG
  2. Pediatric PSG
  3. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
  4. Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT)
  5. Home Sleep Apnea Testing (HSAT)
  6. PAP-NAP

TASK D: Identify, respond, and document »  30-39%

  1. Waveform variations (e.g., abnormal EEG)
  2. Artifact
  3. Equipment malfunction
  4. Physiologic/clinical events
  5. Settings (e.g., filters, sensitivity, gain)

DOMAIN 3: SCORING, REPORTING, AND DATA VERIFICATION »  25.3%

TASK A: Adult PSG »  63-68%

  1. Sleep stages
  2. Arousals
  3. Respiratory events
  4. Desaturations
  5. Movements
  6. Cardiac events

TASK B: Pediatric and infant PSG »  16-21%

  1. Sleep stages
  2. Arousals
  3. Respiratory events
  4. Desaturations
  5. Movements
  6. Cardiac events

TASK C: Report generation »  13-18%

  1. Calculations (e.g., AHI, RDI, TST)
  2. Technologist observation and summary
  3. Histogram, hypnogram

DOMAIN 4: THERAPEUTIC TREATMENT AND INTERVENTION »  28%

TASK A: PAP therapy (e.g., CPAP, bilevel, ASV, NIPPV) »  83-93%

  1. Adult practice guidelines
  2. Pediatric practice guidelines
  3. Proper mode of intervention
  4. Acclimation and proper interface fit
  5. Troubleshooting (e.g., leak levels, pressure release, humidification)
  6. Indications and contraindications

TASK B: Oxygen therapy »  5-10%

  1. Oxygen titration practice guidelines
  2. Indications and contraindications

TASK C: Alternative therapies »  2-7%

  1. Oral appliances
  2. Positional therapy
  3. Surgical options

Job Task Analysis Summary

Job task analyses (often referred to as role delineation studies, practice analyses, audits of practice, task analyses or job analyses) are used to validate certification examinations and provide a basis for defending the appropriateness of the examination content (Kane, 1997). By assessing what sleep technologists do in their practice, this JTA ensures that the content specifications for the RPSGT and CPSGT are current and relevant. Content validity in a certification examination provides evidence that the roles addressed in the examination reflect actual practices necessary for successful performance.

The job analysis methodology used to study the sleep technologist role consisted of three main steps. Initially, an expert panel recruited by BRPT was asked to delineate the major responsibilities of a sleep technologist and the tasks associated with each of those major responsibilities. This expert panel also delineated the knowledge needed to perform the tasks and responsibilities that they had outlined, as well as helping to craft demographic items for inclusion on a survey of incumbents in the field. Next, incumbents in the field were surveyed about the frequency and the importance of the delineated responsibilities and tasks, the importance of each of the listed knowledge areas, and their own demographic information. Finally, the expert panel reconvened to review the survey findings and develop the new test specifications.

The 2017 Job Task Analysis was based on a combination of expert panel meetings and a survey of sleep technologists. A description of the work in a field or in a profession is typically developed in job task analyses through a logical analysis of the literature or through panels of experts. Delineating the important tasks and/or knowledge required for competent practice is a lengthy and complex process. In this study, an expert panel was used to delineate the content for a survey of incumbents in the field. The final outcome of this process is new test specifications for the RPSGT and CPSGT that reflect current and relevant practice in the field of polysomnographic sleep technology.

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