Extremely challenging scope of practice.
A typical day consists of teaching a dozen or more Health Plan Members - of vastly various cognitive skills, and (sometimes foreign) language predisposition - how to successfully complete an overnight un-attended sleep study. The study is designed to diagnose sleep disordered breathing, or obstructive sleep apnea, utilizing peripheral arterial tone, juxtaposed in real time against spectrophotometrically measured and extrapolated oxy-hemoglobin saturation using a device called a "WatchPAT." This is far more convenient for patients than the old method of overnight ATTENDED polysomnography using skin electrodes placed strategically on a patient's cranium. I was trained in the old method, but have not practiced it for a number of years due to the popularity, convenience, and economy of the new ambulatory/unattended method.
The WatchPAT renders an "apnea-hypopnea index," (AHI), beyond the scope of this synopsis, which is used as a diagnostic standard. The accuracy of the AHI depends on equipment setup, initialization, maintenance; and documentation of study results. I am responsible for those procedures as well. Until September 2014, I was less involved in diagnostic procedures. I spent most of my time titrating the amount of positive airway pressure each individual patient needs to regulate his/her AHI on a case by case basis. Since October of 2014 I have concentrated on diagnostic procedures.