Preferences of a Sleep Tech (Part 2): Glasses, Restrooms, and More

If you read my first article on the preferences of a sleep tech, you probably understood they are supposed to be comical. In this article, we are going to review a few more of my preferences. Even though these are my preferences, I think they will be beneficial if you follow them.

Bring your hearing aids and glasses

I think out of an honest heart, people must think when they enter a hospital for a sleep study, they are going right to bed. Why do I think that? Because several patients won’t bring in 2 vital items: glasses and hearing aids.

Those of you who’ve been through a sleep study understand there’s much more that happens. Communication takes twice as long if you can’t hear me, and the paperwork will take much longer if you don’t bring your glasses. As previously stated, it’s essential to bring both of these items.

Use the restroom before bed

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Can I use the restroom tonight?” To which, the answer will always be yes. But oftentimes, before putting the patient to bed, I’ll ask, “Do you need to use the restroom?”

Patient’s response: “No, I think I am good.” Then once I have them all tucked into bed...about 15 minutes later: “Do you mind if I use the restroom?”

Sheesh! I understand. But nonetheless, it’s frustrating. My preference in this scenario is just to use it before bedtime to avoid it happening.

Don't let non-compliance bring you back again

I think if you are human, you will agree with me on this: no one likes to redo their work. Neither do I. Maybe you don’t think of it in these terms, but I don’t want to see the same patient over again, especially due to their non-compliance with CPAP. And because of their non-compliance, they’ll need to repeat the process.

Let me dive in a little bit deeper into that process. Most, if not all, insurances require you to wear your CPAP at least 4 hours a night; otherwise, they’ll take it back. If they take it back from you, you’ll have to repeat the entire process to receive it again. This includes receiving a new order from your doctor, getting rediagnosed with sleep apnea, and re-titrated to the correct pressure. This is no fun for you, and it causes me to have to repeat my work.

If you don’t like the mask, tell me!

I understand this article is about my preferences, not yours. But in this section, it’s about both. I understand it’s a bit challenging to decide which CPAP mask you like the best during the mask fitting. We give you a short test of each one. I try to encourage the patient to start with the one they like the best, but I’ll let them know, "If you don’t like the mask, please let me know and I will try a different one on you."

Please don’t tell me once the night is over. What happens more often than I like, you guessed it! “I am not a big fan of that mask.”

Perhaps you think to yourself, What’s the big deal? Let them try a new one. If the short test didn’t work before the sleep study started, it’s unlikely to work afterward. Besides, after working all night, who wants to be performing extra tasks in the morning!

I hope these preferences can be helpful for both of us. Please leave your comments below.

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