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Central Issues

March 25, 2013
Key Issues of the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board
Central Issues highlights key issues the Oregon Health Licensing Agency is addressing in collaboration with the multiple health and related boards the agency oversees.  In this issue, Central Issues looks at the latest news from the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board.
Effective January 1, 2013, Polysomnographic Technologists Required to Be Licensed in Oregon

If you are practicing as a polysomnographic technologist,
also known as a sleep technician, after January 1, 2013, you must be licensed by the State of Oregon.

The main exemption is if you are a licensed respiratory therapist, in which case you may practice polysomnography but may not call yourself a "licensed polysomnographic technologist" (LPSGT) unless you are also licensed as an LPSGT.

Polysomnographic technologists may qualify for licensure through one of four pathways:

  • Associate's degree in polysomnography

  • Reciprocity (actively licensed in another state)

  • Endorsement (qualifying professional credential in another field)

  • Temporary License (under supervision of a licensed LPSGT)

Specific requirements for licensure are detailed on the How to Get Licensed: Polysomnography page on OHLA's website. 

Click here for a question-and-answer fact sheet on polysomnographic technologist licensure.

Click here to access the polysomnograhic technologist consumer information brochure.

As of March 1, 2013, more than 225 individuals have been licensed as LPSGTs in Oregon.

Issue Responses Provide Specific Answers to Scope of Practice Questions

Not sure whether or not a particular procedure is within
your scope ofpractice?  OHLA has established a step-by-step process to more effectively and efficiently respond to such stakeholder questions.

The board's Issue Responses page, which is located on the left navigation menu at www.oregon.gov/OHLA/RTPT, provides a sample letter, information on how the process for public advice requests works, and a request form.

Issue responses have focused on such issues as arterial/venous cannulation, arterial insert blood draw, mask fitting by unlicensed practitioners, and administration of nitroglycerin.

Board Reviews and Repsonds to New Issue Response Questions, Including Question on Scoring Sleep Studies

The board and OHLA staff have reviewed and responded to the following question topics that will be added to the board's Issue Responses page.  Following is a quick review of the board's initial response at its 11/16/12 meeting.  Please visit the board's Issue Responses page for a complete overview.

  • Scoring Sleep Studies:  Licensure required

  • Setting Up Equipment and Setting Pressures:  Licensure required
Prescriptions, Physician Orders Also Addressed in Issue Responses Rather than in Administrative Rulemaking

After a 9/14/2012 board Practice & Procedures Standards Committee meeting, the board was set to conduct administrative rulemaking to clarify scope of practice issues for respiratory care, specifically:

  • Is selecting medications from a list of respiratory medications on a licensed independent practitioner's order within the scope of practice for a respiratory therapist?  Short answer:  No

  • Is it within the scope of practice for a respiratory therapist to treat a patient with a physician order that simply says, "RT to evaluate and treat?  Short answer:  No.

However, due to the clarity provided by the board/agency legal counsel, the agency determined that conducting rulemaking was unnecessary and that the scope of practice issues raised above could be better addressed as Issue Responses.


Board Files Temporary Rule for Temporary Polysomnographic Technologist Licensure Pathway:  Academic Degree

Temporary administrative rules were filed on 11/19/12 to add a temporary license pathway for individuals who have obtained an associate's degree in polysomnography, polysomnographic technology, or sleep technology from an accedited community college, college or university, or successfully completed a polysomnography course of study from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited institution and are waiting to take the qualifying examination.

The temporary licensure pathway allows individuals who have completed an academic degree program in polysomnography to continue to work under indirect supervision while waiting to take the board-approved national examination.

The rule becomes permanent on April 1, 2013.  Another temporary / proposed rule filed on April 1, 2013, allows respiratory therapists with a credential from the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists to supervise students.

Click here for more information.


By the Numbers:  Statistical Overview
As of​ ​March 1, 2013 since July 2011
​Licensed respiratory therapists 1,692​
​Licensed polysomnographic technologists ​237
​Respiratory therapist licenses issued 236
Polysomnographic technologist licenses issued 237
Temporary licenses issued 10
​Renewals processed 1,237
​Percentage renewed online ​69.28%
​Complaints received 6​
​Final orders issued 1​
​Ending cash balance $246,264.33​
​Projected ending balance (6/30/2013) $233,533.11​
News You Can Use:  Resources

Holly Mercer Named Interim Director of OHLA

Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board Members and Biographies

Board Meetings and Minutes

Continuing Education Requirements

Renew Your License Online

Related Websites of Interest

Central Issues:  Comment, Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Comments on the issues we cover are appreciated.  Contact OHLA Public Information Officer Kraig Bohot at kraig.bohot@state.or.us or call 503-373-1939.

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