Timothy Sipe has become the first sleep expert to be licensed by the state. Sipe is an employee of Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.
Sipe is a 'Polysomnographic technologist.' That means he can provide diagnostic testing, treatment, education and care for people suffering from sleep disorders. The legislature passed a bill last year establishing a new licensing board for the relatively new profession. Samantha Patnode, of the Oregon Health Licensing Agency, says carrying a license for such work is important.
Patnode said, "You have these little mini-sleep labs that pop-up and they go into people's homes and it can be fairly intrusive because these are people who are maybe compromised, these are people who are sleeping, these are sometimes kids, sometimes people who have chronic illness. So it really kind of gets to the core of public safety."
Polysomnographic technologists don't have to be licensed in Oregon until January 1st next year, but like Sipe, they're already passing examinations and applying.
To be licensed, they have to show national credentials, work experience, submit to a criminal background check and be fingerprinted.