The New Hampshire Respiratory Care Practice Act contains statutory language which allows the state Respiratory Care Board (“Board”) to have “the authority” to adopt rules specifying the scope of practice for registered polysomnographic technologists.” This past September, the Board issued proposed regulatory language outlining the scope of practice for sleep technologists, and detailing the educational and training requirements a sleep technologist needs to complete to obtain a license.
The AASM worked with the New Hampshire Sleep Society (NHSS) in developing comments addressing the proposal. Some of the amendments the NHSS requested to be incorporated into the proposal included:
• Amending the Definition for “Practice of Polysomnography” to contain the phrase “include but are not limited to.” The phrase would ensure that sleep technologists will be able to provide existing and future services that fall within the sleep technologist scope of practice and which assist them in the testing, evaluation of, and follow-up care of patients with sleep disorders.
• Adding an examination requirement which would require all individuals who are applying for initial licensure to have passed a sleep technology credentialing examination. The proposed language requires that individuals complete a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) or Accredited Sleep Technologist Education Program (A-STEP) program but does not require that they pass a credentialing examination. NHSS requested that the proposal mandate that individuals applying for licensure either pass the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) examination, the National Board for Respiratory Care Sleep Disorders Specialty examination (NBRC-SDS) or a comparable examination.
• Including a grandfather clause to allow individuals who have been working in the sleep field for a considerable period an exemption from completing the educational or certification requirements:
• Establishing a Polysomnography Professional Standards Committee to assist the Board in the performance of its duties in overseeing the sleep technology profession.
As of this report, the Board is still in the process of finalizing the regulations. The AASM will keep our members posted with any new developments.