Proper sleep is not just important, but essential to lead a healthy life. After the medical world realized the importance of sleep, specialized medical facilities for people with sleeping disorders emerged. Sleep centers focus on helping individuals get over sleeping disorders like sleep apnea and the like. Usually, sleep centers are staffed with qualified and trained sleep specialists, sleep technicians, behavioral sleep specialists, respiratory therapists, sleep center managers, administrative staff, nurses and other medical professionals associated with the treatment. And, the performance of the sleep center largely depends on the efficiency of these staff members.
To make sure that the services offered by the sleep center are effective, it is important to hire the right kind of staff to run it. Care should be taken in selecting sleep professionals with the right qualifications and skills, considering the kind of services that would be offered at the sleep lab, and the kind of patients that it caters to - adults or children. To select quality candidates at your sleep center, you need to have a clear idea about the skills or qualifications that the job demands. Also, you should know about right channels that can help you find the right people.
One of the best and the most effective ways to hire the right staff is to learn about the credentials and the skill sets you should look for in a candidate. For example, RSTs or Registered Sleep Technologists, who are certified by the ABSM (American Board of Sleep Medicine) are more efficient and reliable than those without the credentials. Also, it is important to hire an RPSGT or Registered Polysomnographic Technologist, who is certified by the BRPT (Board of Polysomnographic Technologists) and is skilled to work in sleep studies.
Similarly, when hiring someone for the position of the sleep center director or a medical director, you need to look at sleep specialists who meet the Accreditation Standards of the AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine). Also, hiring PRNs (practicing registered nurses), who can be of assistance to the specialists, allows the sleep center to offer better patient care.
Care should also be taken when hiring administrative and support staff for the sleep center. Along with the necessary qualifications and experience, the administrative staff should be efficient in scheduling and managing the patient appointments and maintaining their records for reference purposes. In case the sleep center also has a children's program, you should consider candidates qualified and experienced in handling children's sleep studies.
Using the right selection tools and the right channels is the key to finding the best sleep professionals. The job descriptions for different sleep professionals can be obtained from the website of the AAST (American Association of Sleep Technologists). Recruitment of the required sleep center staff can be done through newsletters and magazines in the industry. In addition to that, using your sleep community network to post a word-of-mouth job advertisement is another way to hire the right people quickly.
Hiring the right professionals for your sleep center is just the first step. The second step, and the most challenging part of sleep center management, is to retain efficient employees and improve productivity by encouraging positive behavior.
Constructive feedback - Feedback plays a very important role in improving your employees' productivity and boosting their morale. However, it is important to ensure that the performance feedback is positive and constructive, and not demoralizing in anyway. When you have a really efficient employee, you should not delay in delivering words of praise for him or her.
Positive social events - Working at a sleep center can become tedious, especially with employees working during night shifts. Social events like birthday celebrations or occasional staff outings can be great to make the working atmosphere a little more positive and cheerful.
Reviews and incentives - Reviewing the performance of the staff and providing incentives to the best performers is another way to keep your sleep center staff motivated and improve their productivity. Besides the efficiency in their job, you should also observe the employee's attitude, team-management skills, commitment and the value they bring to their job, and provide feedback on each of these aspects.
No matter how qualified or experienced the sleep center professional is, you should ensure they go through a specific training process to get used to the facility's environment and the working processes. Also, to ensure that your staff is efficient, certain time and budget should be allocated for training activities, which can help the staff to stay updated with developments in the industry. Training existing employees helps provide better patient care, while minimizing the costs involved in hiring and training new candidates for the facility.