The Florida Sleep School
Our Editor spoke with Marietta Bibbs, BA, RPSGT, Director of Education about the Florida Sleep School located in Fort Myers, Florida.
School in the Sun
Marietta Bibbs is proud to announce the opening of The Florida Sleep School located in Ft. Myers, Florida. This new school of polysomnography offers a different approach to learning theaspects of sleep medicine in a number of ways. The development of the school was approached from a student’s perspective, that being, what are the important reasons for choosing a place to learn polysomnography. The most significant were an experienced faculty, course variety, learning environment and school location. These factors were all implemented to set The Florida Sleep School apart from other learning facilities. We wanted to offer students a unique educational opportunity through lecture and practical application facilitated by exposure in a clinical environment. In simple terms a conducive place to learn about sleep medicine and have some fun doing it.
The faculty at The Florida Sleep School is one of the most significant strengths of the school, with combined experience of more than 85 years in sleep medicine. Marietta Bibbs, BS, RPSGT, the Director of Education, began her career in sleep medicine back in 1976 at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas one of the first sleep laboratories in the country. She was one of the first technologists to become registered by the BRPT in 1982 (Registry #29) and continued on to a distinguished career educating hundreds of technologists, medical students, residents and physicians. Marietta has also volunteered countless hours to the Education Committee of the AAST and also as a board member and President of the BRPT. Other members of the faculty include Andrea Clark, MSW, RPSGT, Dennis DeBruler, RPSGT, and Sandra Lombardo RT, RPSGT.
Prestigious Guest Faculty
The guest faculty is also quite impressive with an impressive list of world-renown leaders in the field of sleep medicine. It includes a mix of clinical and research backgrounds from a group of physicians, PhDâ€™s and registered technologists. This list includes well known author Dr. Sudhansu Chokroverty and the President of the AASM, Dr. Alex Chediak. Other physicians on the guest faculty with decades of experience in sleep medicine include Dr. William Anderson, Dr. Richard Berry, Dr. Martin Cohn, Dr. Carlos Schenck and Dr. Amir Sharafkhaeh. They are joined by PhDâ€™s Dr. Max Hirshkowitz, Dr. Cindy Nichols and Dr. John Herman and noted RPSGTâ€™s are Debbi Akers, Todd Eiken, Cameron Harris, Daniel Herold, Bonnie Robertson and Patrick Sorenson.
Unique Learning Environment
We wanted to move away from the traditional larger classroom atmosphere and provide students with a more hands on experience. The first big difference is that all the classes are held within Sleep Management Centers, an 8-bed capacity AASM fully-accredited member sleep center. This gives the students a better understanding of how a busy sleep testing facility functions on a day-to-day basis while they are at the same time learning the fundamentals of polysomnography. The school also maintains a high teacher-to-student ratio ensuring a very interactive dialogue with the instructors. Classroom capacity is limited to a maximum of 10 students with lecture time and didactic learning set up in accordance to A-STEP standards. Graduating students will be comfortable and prepared to work in a busy sleep lab environment.
Variety of Courses
The school offers a variety of courses from introductive polysomnography to advanced classes in scoring and interpretation. These typically run from 3 to 5 days depending on level of experience of enrolled students. Six-hour continuing education courses are also offered that include PAP and non- invasion ventilation, MSLT/MWT, EKG for sleep, and instrumentation including filters, sensitivity and artifacts. Several new courses are planned for the fall semester that will include sleep disorders in dentistry, home sleep testing, sleep center management, and marketing and selling your sleep facility. The idea is to offer a mixed curriculum which appeals to all skill levels from a beginner in sleep, to someone interested in maintaining their credential, learning new techniques or making their sleep facility more profitable.
To top it all off the school is located in Ft. Myers, Florida which is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Florida. This area offers a perfect combination of year-round warm weather and recreational activities. If you like the outdoors, this is the place to be with miles of white sand beaches and warm gulf water. With the water comes swimming, fishing, boating, and of course great seafood. For land lovers there are lots of activities that include world class golfing, hiking in nature preserves, visiting historic sites and great shopping. Sports fans can catch spring training with World Series Champions: the Boston Red Socks and the Minnesota Twins, with the Twins farm team, the Miracles here all season. In addition, the Everblades provide excellent hockey from the American Hockey League during their season.
What’s in the Future?
In addition to the new courses that will be offered in the fall, the school has also applied to become an AASM A-STEP provider. This will provide another segment of education for students wishing to become registered by the BRPT. The Florida Sleep School is also working closely with a local community college to develop a CAAHEP accredited Polysomnography program. We firmly believe that the pathway to maintaining a strong profession in polysomnography is through superior and sophisticated education for sleep technologists. This can only be achieved by providing the best educators to train the technologists of the future in the rapidly growing field of sleep medicine. Please go to www.flsleepschool.com for more information.