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Respiratory Therapist, Sleep therapist/technician, etc, how to ge there?

For you professionals in the field and anyone else who knows or has considered this field.
What is the difference between the various people who work in the respiratory and sleep study field?
My local Community College has a Respiratory Therapy Associate Degree.

I'm interested in ultimately being the person to hook you up and do your sleep study, or reads your sleep study.

Is Respiratory Therapy the best place to start? I have a BSN in Nursing from 1984 so I've been out of academia for a while.

What does it take to be a sleep technician? What are the levels of expertise?
I asked a similar question a while back but was not specific enough about what I wanted to know

What would those of you in the sleep study field recommend as the way to go.

Would some of you be kind enough to detail your education and present job?

From what I've seen Respiratory Therapists in a hospital setting work their butts off. So do the folks who do sleep studies, but it seems a different pace though I'm sure no less challenging.

Marry Zimlich

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You talk of respect Cindy. What respect do the other medical practices give sleep? The RPSGT holds the majority of all the sleep knowledge. Not the physician, not the nurse, not the RT. How much lateral movement do they have? How much sleep training did being an RT give you? I do appreciate the COMBINED EFFORT that everyone puts into keeping my patients alive long enough for a SLEEP CARE PROFFESSIONAL to fix them. Are the feelings mutual? Not in the least. I am required to know respiratory, cardiology, and neurology to do my job. On top of being able to interpret the squiggly lines, being an amateur electrician, pc specialist, and a part time therapist. How many other health care professionals are required to know sleep? All pts no matter what is wrong with them spend or should be spending 1/3 of their lives doing it. Yet the majority of the knowledge sits in an office in some corner of the facility. Without any sleep knowledge anyone from any other practice can come to sleep. What kind of respect is that? Short of being a Doctor sleep teaches more about medicine than any other practice. Why? Because what we do has an effect on health as a whole. Sleep crosses all medical boundaries. There is NO medical practice that can say they are not affected by sleep. My job may not be as exciting as the ER doc with the heart in his hands, but it is no less important. I also help to save lives. First and foremost I am a father and a husband. Second I am a Sleep Medicine Technologist. This is what I do AND who I am.
Cindy I am not trying to put anyone down. I have a lot of respect for all medical practices. I was defending sleep from another Tech no less. I do not have a lofty ideology of sleep, but I will not down play its role in current medical practices. I am not angry as of yet. It does bother me to see sleep medicine looked at as the step child of modern medicine. Why should I not be passionate about what I do? Why are you not? I also did not say that I had a corner on anything. I believe I was talking about A RPSGT which I am not. As far as sleep is concerned I am a baby. My knowledge is miniscule when looking at the big picture. I also was not referring to Sleep Doctors either. That assumption was a little naive on your part. I do not feel that I am smarter than anyone. Especially an educated doc. You have to admit that there are a high % of medical practitioners that no nothing of sleep. I mean the manufacturers are stepping in to train them. A study just came out saying that anyone with any type of heart problem should have their sleep evaluated. All I said was that sleep is just as important as any other practice. You said that it was not. I am defending my statement.

“Treating sleep apnea does not cure all the worlds ails. Maybe you are dedicating your life to sleep medicine but that doesn't lesson any at all the other healthcare professionals”

How come I get attacked for defending my (our) profession? Why are you defending everyone else? Do you not like or respect what you do? I did not lesson anything. You did. I was just trying to explain why I enjoyed what I did.

"no other medical practice that has such an immediate affect on the lives of our patients.", you really believe that?”

You attacked my opinion. Not the other way around. I did not downplay any other practice. I just up played my own.

“Lastly I don't think I was running sleep down. It's what I do. Certainly it's not who I am. For now it's the best job I could ask for, except the hours are lousy.”

After this statement maybe I should be asking you where all of the anger is coming from. Sounds to me like you do not like what you do. Seems to me like the only reason you are in sleep is because there is not a better job available. You can not make statements like this and then preach that we are all in this together. It does not sound much to me like you are in anything 100%. Just my opinion though
Oh yeah Bartending! I do not have the schooling or education that many in healthcare do have, or any other field for that matter. That does not make me any less valuable though. bartending taught me alot about dealing with people and their many problems. Yoe would be surprised by how musch sleep and mixology are entertwined. looking back would i have been better off had i had gone to school? Yes, but that does not make me any less of a good person. i have very few regrets though. My life lessons were no less or more harsh than anyone else's. I am educating myself now. Does that not count for anything? A couple of people, when debating me, have said that I either hold myself in 'high regard" or have a "high idealology" about things. Your right I do. I am very proud of what I have made of myself. I am proud of the few little accomplishments that I have made in bettering myself and my family. Everyone should be proud or happy with who they are. It's healthy. i may not be educated like you Cindy, but I do recognize when someone mistakes confidence for weakness. i promise that this will bite you in the ass everytime. There is nothing wrong with growing up blue collar poor. I am proud of who I am, where I came from, and what I have to offer. This is what makes me who i am. Education or not if your are going to debate me bring your big girl britches.
I am not sure where my statements showed you any disrespect. Or anyone else for that matter. i do not feel that defending my own field is disrespecting anyone else's. i made a statement about the way i felt about sleep. You did attack that statement. It takes respect to get respect Cindy. i apologize if you felt that i disrespected you or any other practice. it was not intended. i was just defending sleep you called me unreasonable and actually said that are job was not as important as others in the medical community. i disagree. There are RTs that become RPSGTs and there are Rts that PRACTICE sleep. I guess the question is which are you?
You people are out of control. I was on this site to help, not to have Pseudo- Intellectuals (who sadly have nothing to do) insulting me and others who take time to try to help. Goodbye, I do have other things to do. I do not drink, or own firearms. I hope everyone's therapy goes well.
I would like to take this time to apologize to Cindy. After re-reading my post I may not have chosen the correct words to express my views properly. I am truly sorry for any grief I might have caused you Cindy. I meant no disrespect to any other medical practice. I just really like mine.

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