Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does a Polysomnography technologist do?

    Polysomnography Technologists, also known as Sleep Techs, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from sleep disorders. They perform overnight sleep assessments used to diagnose various sleep disorders. The polysomnographer will attach various electrodes used to record the patient's brain activity and will then monitor the patient throughout the night. They test and calibrate equipment and perform troubleshooting when required.

    The two U-Tube videos below will also give you a good idea of what is required of the Polysomnographic Technologist.

  • Is this a recognized program?

    TRU is approved as a Sleep Technology Approved Resource (STAR) for the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) as a Focused education provider.

    Upon completion of the four courses, students will be issued a certificate and be eligible to write the Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT) exam under Pathway 3 eligibility. The CPSGT is an entry-level certification earned by individuals new to the sleep field. It is time-limited; certificate holders must earn the RPSGT credential within three years or lose the CPSGT designation. See brpt.org for certification details.

  • What are the employment prospects?

    It is very important to determine if the current employment trends in your region meet your personal needs and what your job prospects would be like upon program completion before taking this program, which is why an informational interview with a sleep clinic in your area should be completed before program admission.

  • Where is the clinical placement completed?

    At this time, travel to Kelowna BC for two weeks is mandatory for the clinical practicum, though other sites may be considered if TRU has an educational agreement in place.

  • What type of health care diploma is recommended for admission?

    It is strongly recommended to have a health diploma or health background before taking these courses. Some locations will hire only RTs (Respiratory Therapists) for the poly tech position, particularly hospitals. Health care experience, such as an x-ray tech, that uses high-tech equipment is a good fit since the poly tech operates and trouble-shoots sensitive medical equipment.

    Patient-care experience is highly recommended for this position.

  • Top qualities of a Poly tech: What skills are required to be a Poly tech?
    1. Attention to Detail
    2. Compassion
    3. Technical and mechanical abilities
    4. Administration Skills
    5. Excellent verbal and written skills
    6. Physical stamina

    Persons seeking a career in polysomnography must have strong communication and interpersonal skills because they are required to assist and attain information from patients. They must be willing to work long shifts, sometimes through the night, handle delicate medical equipment and possess adequate writing skills to prepare reports.

    It is very important to have good people skills. You need to communicate well with physicians, patients and their families, and other team members.

    The job involves standing, sitting, bending, crouching, crawling and lifting weights of up to 50 pounds. Good vision is a requirement.

    Good computer and math skills are also required. You may be required to work in both metric and imperial measures.

  • Describe the work environment of a Poly tech

    Most sleep clinic jobs are on the midnight shift, staying awake through the night to observe and document sleeping patients. The ability to get a good sleep during the day is important in order to be alert all night to respond to patients’ needs.

    Technologists often work alone all night and must make decisions by themselves that could affect the outcome of the patients' care.

    The job of a polysomnographic technologist can be physically demanding, sometimes requiring long shifts (but a shorter work week).

    In some clinics, technologists also work day shifts, meeting with patients and analyzing data collected during the previous night's sleep tests.

  • Does the program qualify for financial assistance?

    This program does not meet the criteria for Canada Student Loan assistance.

  • How do I write the Certified Exam after graduation?

    Upon completion of the four courses, students will be issued a certificate and be eligible to write the Certified Polysomnographic Technician (CPSGT) exam under Pathway 3 eligibility. The CPSGT is an entry-level certification earned by individuals new to the sleep field.

    It is time-limited; certificate holders must earn the RPSGT (Registered) credential within three years or lose the CPSGT designation.

    After nine months' work experience in an overnight sleep clinic, program graduates may write the RPSGT exam under Pathway 4 eligibility.

    See www.brpt.org for certification exam details and to apply to write the exam.

  • Other Questions?