The Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine introduced a new sleep medicine course designed for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This course runs October 24-25, 2009, and will be available for continuing education credits. It will provide nurse practitioners and physician assistants with the knowledge needed to recognize and diagnose sleep disorders.

The course was developed after Michael Lacey, MD, DABSM, noticed the increasing importance that nurse practitioners and physician assistants play in physicians’ offices. According to an announcement from the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of nurse practitioners in the United States has increased by nearly 40% over the last 5 years, while the employment of physician assistants is expected to grow 27% from 2006 to 2016.
“Neither group [NPs and PAs] is exposed to sleep medicine as part of their basic core curriculum, so I felt a course in sleep medicine would enhance their knowledge while improving overall patient care in their practices. I think some [NPs and PAs] may even choose to make sleep medicine their niche,” said Lacey.

The course will expose students to sleep disorders including OSA, insomnia, RLS, parasomnias, and narcolepsy. In the class, participants will learn the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of all of these disorders. They will also learn the legal aspects of dealing with dangerously sleepy patients.

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