Polysomnography — Certificate

Program director
Abdullah Alismail

Medical advisor
Ramiz Fargo

The expansion of polysomnography (sleep studies) in the health-care industry has created a marked increase in demand for polysomnography technicians. Many polysomnography clinics are inundated with referrals that may be deferred for months at a time due to inadequate staffing, resulting in delay of sleep disorder diagnoses and appropriate treatments.

The certificate in polysomnography is designed for current clinical practitioners and students who are interested in specializing in sleep disorder studies. Both didactic theory and clinical application offered in the program provide an avenue to gain knowledge, skills, and experience in the expanding discipline of polysomnography. Topics include sleep terminology, sleep structure and disorders, complete patient set-up and monitoring, data acquisition and scoring, and pharmacological and noninvasive interventions. The program is offered on campus and includes laboratory/clinical rotations, online and classroom discussions, and a case study presentation. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the sleep disorder specialist (SDS) examination by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) and/or the RPSGT examination by the Board of Registered Polysomnography Technologists (BRPT) after completion of the required clinical hours and requirements for each board examination. * Please see professional examination section.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge and clinical skills in utilizing sleep technology equipment following evidence-based practices;
  2. Demonstrate the ability to score sleep studies following evidence-based practices in sleep medicine;
  3. Analyze and interpret sleep study results following evidence-based practices in sleep medicine;
  4. Apply appropriate sleep treatment interventions using evidence-based practices in sleep medicine;
  5. Demonstrate professional behavior and leadership skills;
  6. Demonstrate effective and professional interaction and education skills with patients.

Professional examination and certification eligibility

Graduates of this program are eligible to take the SDS examination by the NBRC and/or the RPSGT examination by the BRPT after completion of the required clinical hours and meeting the requirements of each examination. This program is designated as a STAR-focused program under the BRPT. Graduates will be eligible for the RPSGT (Pathway 4) and CPSGT (Pathway 3) after meeting the requirements of each pathway. NBRC inquiries can be made to 10801 Mastin Street, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS  66210; telephone:  913/895-4900; fax:  913/712-9283; or website:  <www.nbrc.org>. BRPT inquiries can be made to 8400 Westpark Drive, 2nd Floor, McLean, VA 22102; telephone: 703/610-9020; fax: 703/610-0229; website:  <http://www.brpt.org/>.

Loma Linda University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501; telephone: 510/748-9001; fax: 510/748-9797; website:  <http://www.wscuc.org/contact>.

To be eligible for this program, in addition to the Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admission requirements, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Current Basic Life Support certification from the American Heart Association.
  2. Minimum of 2.5 G.P.A. of college credit (minimum of 36 quarter units).  
  3. Interview with program faculty.
  4. Three positive personal and/or professional references.
  5. For current students in the Loma Linda University Cardiopulmonary Sciences program, an agreement and acceptance from both program directors is required to add the sleep track/units to the current student plan.

Prerequisite (All coursework must be completed at an accredited institution.)

  • Human anatomy and physiology or general biology with laboratory, complete sequence
  • Introductory chemistry with laboratory; or general chemistry with laboratory—minimum of one quarter or semester
  • High school-level physics or introductory physics, one quarter/semester in college; or general physics, one quarter/semester in college
  • Two years of mathematics selected from: algebra I (elementary), algebra II (intermediate), or geometry; may be taken in high school or college
  • English composition, complete sequence

Co-requisite

  • Medical terminology

Recommended coursework

  • Speech
  • Sociology or anthropology. 
  • Psychology
  • Microbiology

Basic Life Support

Because this program will have clinical rotations and patient contact, students are required to have a cardiopulmonary resuscitation/basic life support (BLS) card certification. This certification has to be current and obtained from an authorized American Heart Association training center. The BLS course is offered at Life Support Education, University Arts building, 24887 Taylor Street, Suite 102.

Autumn QuarterUnits
RSPS 210Foundation of Polysomnography and Sleep Medicine2
RSPS 2163- and 12-Leads ECG Interpretation2
RSPS 227Neuroanatomy and Physiology of Sleep3
RSPS 230Polysomnography Science Methodology2
Winter Quarter
RSPS 234Polysomnography Patient Education and Safety1
RSPS 256Polysomnography Monitoring and Scoring2
RSPS 274Polysomnography Diseases3
RSPS 295Polysomnography Practicum I4
Spring Quarter
RELR 475Whole Person Care2
RSPS 286Polysomnography Case Study2
RSPS 296Polysomnography Practicum II4
 Total Units: 27

Clinical Rotations

The polysomnography program offers clinical practicum course at affiliated clinical sites. Thus, students will commute to a 12 hours clinical rotation on every assigned clinical day; this might include day and night shifts. Therefore, students are responsible for their own transportation to each clinical site. The program will assign clinical instructors for each site to assess student learning and competency check-offs.

Normal time to complete the program

34 weeks (three [3] academic quarters) based on full-time enrollment