Spotlight On A New BRPT Board Member
Nicholas Harden, RPSGT, LPSGT
BRPT Editor: Tell us about your role at Nihon Kohden, the Tokyo-based manufacturer, developer and distributor of medical electronic equipment.
Nicholas Harden: At Nihon Kohden, I’m a Neurology Clinical Applications Specialist. My job is to ensure that physicians and polysomnographic technologists understand how to use our incredible suite of programs including Polysmith and NeuroWorkbench. I have the privilege of working with medical staff at some of the most distinguished and storied medical facilities in sleep medicine history including The University of Chicago, Stanford University, and The Cleveland Clinic. In my career as a sleep technologist, I have also worked in sleep medicine education as the founding Program Director at Concorde Career College in Portland, OR. These prestigious positions are an example of the incredible employment opportunities available to any dedicated Registered Polysomnographic Technologist.
BRPT Editor: As a new BRPT Board member, but veteran of the profession, what do you hope to gain from being a member of the Board?
NH: It is among the greatest honors of my life to be working alongside the members of the BRPT Board. I am excited to collaborate with the other incredibly talented Board members to ensure that the role of an RPSGT is a respected, effective and vital position in healthcare. I’m delighted to be serving as the Chair of the Marketing Committee and look forward to progressing the field of sleep medicine through successful and meaningful marketing strategies.
BRPT Editor: How did you enter the field of sleep medicine?
NH: Sleep medicine has been a strong influence throughout my entire life. My father is a Sleep Specialist and Pediatric Pulmonologist physician which meant my childhood was filled with discussions of consciousness, healthy sleep habits, and apnea-hypoxia prevention. These medically oriented sometimes left a younger me feeling a bit sleep deprived, but the impact was essential in establishing my curiosity for the complexities of the field. As my studies in science and technology progressed, I developed a desire to learn about more efficient treatments for the many sleep disorders that impact millions of people every year.
BRPT Editor: How has the field grown or changed since you first entered the profession?
NH: It has been amazing to see how neurology has progressed over the past 20 years. From life-saving procedures for the treatment of brain aneurisms and strokes, to the advancement of preventative medicine for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, I am inspired every day by the advancements in the field. Improvements in our fundamental understanding of the importance of sleep has led to a revolution in the priority sleep must be given for us all to lead healthy and productive lives. Hearing notable public figures talk about the importance of a good night’s rest is a wonderful sign of things to come.
BRPT Editor: What advice do you have for sleep techs entering the field today?
NH: Continue to be curious. Explore avenues for advancement in your knowledge of the position and the field. When I was working at Loyola University Hospital in Chicago, an opportunity came up to gain experience in Neurophysiology as an EEG Technologist. I accepted the position which led to a dramatic increase in my skill set and, almost ten years later, led to my employment with Nihon Kohden. There is a limitless sea of knowledge available in the published literature just waiting to be read and analyzed. Read as much as you can when you find time. The more you know, the better you will be able to treat your patients. Perhaps most important of all: maximize your free time as it is the most important resource we have to further our knowledge, interests and expertise.
BRPT Editor: In addition to reading and pursuing your professional interests, what other activities do you enjoy?
NH: I have been living in the Pacific Northwest for about five years and continue to be awestruck by the glorious beauty of the forests and watersheds of the region. I enjoy hiking through the magnificent vistas of the Columbia River Gorge and camping in national parks across the United States. I love exploring the culinary world in my hometown and also when I’m traveling for work.