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Re-posting this history of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (RPSGTs) from a Discussion started by Dave Hargett, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the BRPT:

"Peter McGregor is RPSGT registry number 1, from June 1979. This year the BRPT (Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists) celebrates it's 30th birthday as the credentialing agency for the RPSGT credential. In that 30 years there have been about 14,000 persons who have become RPSGTs.

My understanding is that the Stanford Sleep Disorders Center was the first sleep center in the US, and it was started around 1971 or 1972 (that's from memory - I didn't fact check!) The sleep research that went on in the 50's was done often by the sleep researchers themselves as they developed the techniques for studying sleep.

The American Association of Sleep Technologists (now the AAST, but formerly known as the APT (Association of Polysomnographic Technologists)) was formally founded in 1981 with a small group of 20 technologists. It now has about 4300 active members (although it is not a requirement to join the AAST if you practice in sleep medicine).

That's my quick response to the numbers. Over the years, as I've attended annual sleep meetings since 1996 to represent the American Sleep Apnea Association and through my volunteer efforts working with A.W.A.K.E. support groups, I've met and gotten to know a great many sleep technologists. I now serve on the Board of Directors of the BRPT, representing the "public".

So, the field of "sleep tech" is actually older than CPAP (1981) or oral appliances or even the UPPP surgery.

I'm sure you will have a few sleep techs on the site chime in later, but that's my understanding of the two main organizations related to the field and the timing of their founding."

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Comment by RockRpsgt on May 3, 2009 at 4:51pm
It is so easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of the medical industry.
Comment by RockRpsgt on May 3, 2009 at 4:49pm
Mike, I think you are getting the organization mixed up. It is easy to do. Dave is on the board of the "American Sleep Anea Association" or ASAA a very important group in its' own right. I am very new to this group, so please correct me if I am wrong, but their main focus seems to be public Education. Which has been the subject of many recent topics. The American Association of Sleep Medicine(AASM) is the governing body of sleep. These are medical and sleep practitioners who set the guidelines for the industry. The AASM is also the accrediting body for sleep labs. I believe this goes for the U.S., Canada, and I have heard rumor that the U.K. has adopted this body as well. Could be wrong on that last one(heresay). The Board of Registered Polysomnograph Techs(BRPT) is the testing and educational body of the AASM. They control board certification and continued education for sleep techs, as well as the rules and parameters for these test. The American Association of Sleep Techs(AAST) is just what it the name represents. This group is an advocant for the techs providing valuable info as well as assisting with our continued education.

Wow! I think that was the first time it has all made since to me. Please let me know if I was wrong about any of these.

Dave I do apologize that I am just finding out about your group. I actually was able to visit the website recently and found it very informative. I think it was the first time I had seen AWAKE contacts outside of a lab. Great Post! This is the kind of stuff the on the job training leaves out.

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