Professional & Continuing Studies

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An estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Costs related to diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders are estimated in the billions of dollars, and additional financial and societal burden results from accidents, lost work, and related medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD and mental illness.

The University of Delaware online course Essentials of Clinical Sleep Health and Education focuses on the field of treating sleep disorders by introducing health care professionals to the specialty of sleep medicine and preparing them to serve as clinical sleep educators. The seven-week, 100 percent online course begins April 3.

The role of clinical sleep educator is important in the treatment of sleep problems. These educators help patients understand how their sleep conditions develop and progress, how the controllable risk factors affect their health, the signs and symptoms of disease progression, and the role of prescribed therapy and medications.

“Employment opportunities for clinical sleep educators exist beyond the traditional sleep center and may include occupational health, mental health, pulmonary, neurology, primary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, home medical equipment companies, OB/GYN and school nursing,” says Grace Denault, course instructor at Delaware Sleep Disorder Centers.

While Essentials of Clinical Sleep Health and Education is primarily intended for health care professionals like nurses, doctors, physician assistants, mental health professionals, respiratory therapists and dentists, it is beneficial to anyone wishing to learn more about sleep medicine. Professionals in any of these areas are likely to have patients with comorbid sleep disorders and would benefit from education in sleep medicine, adds Denault.

Course participants learn about aspects of normal and abnormal sleep, clinical evaluation, and testing and treatment of sleep disorders. Patient and family communication and education are important components of the curriculum. Participants complete the course at their own pace within seven weeks. Online learning components include discussion boards, case presentations, quizzes, and a final quiz.

The course is also designed to help participants prepare for the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) Certificate in Clinical Sleep Health (CCSH) exam. Continuing medical education credits are available for the program through the efforts of the Medical Society of Delaware (a maximum of 10.50 AMA PRA Category 1 credits).

Interested individuals are invited to attend an information session on Monday, March 13, 6-7:30 p.m. in Newark. The info session is free, but reservations are requested. For details and to RSVP, visit this website.

Essentials of Clinical Sleep Health and Education is offered through a partnership between the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies and the Academy of Sleep and Wellness, which is the education arm of Delaware Sleep Disorder Centers.

UD students and UD alumni are eligible for a discount when enrolling in this program. Other discounts include a military/veterans discount, and a group discount when two or more individuals from one business or organization register for the program. A discount for early registration is available through March 13.

For more information, visit the website, call 302-831-7600 or write to continuing-ed@udel.edu.