Eric Young, RPSGT | Keck Medical, Sleep Disorders Center
Eric Young is a Sleep Technologist at the University of South California working to advance and empower the relationship between patients and sleep education. He believes that patient compliance is most closely tied to the proper treatment and education. Being able to listen and find a human connection with patients is fundamental to the empathy and spark that drive the purpose of healthcare: to make an improvement in people’s lives.
Eric’s first tech jobs were in small 4 bed clinics, and it really provided the opportunities to talk with patients at length, experience the independence of night, and enjoy terrible after-hours true crime cable shows. Technical experience in small labs, however, is often knowledge passed down by word of mouth; techniques and rules can vary as the most senior staff might recall something he probably forgot at the last lecture attended. To build upon foundations stronger than the hearsay of the last technologist on shift, it became necessary to venture to a larger community, and one that conveniently offered continuing education units. Enter the California Sleep Society.
Attending the California Sleep Society has provided Eric with a much larger basis for how sleep is being seen, not only in the lab, but also in exciting new research, and also the culture of new technology and devices. Often, patients ask about how effective their smart watches are, or if there are any new advances that could save them from the horrors of wearing their PAP devices.
And perhaps necessity (or at least the palpable terror of claustrophobia) is the mother of invention, as device manufacturers have stepped up to the plate, delivering new technologies to supplement and occasionally supplant. Not only in the burgeoning field of implantable devices designed with similar vocabulary as PAP, but it’s also been jarring to watch as masks and machines release with the regularity of a model year seen in automobiles.
Sleep is an endless field, and the knowledge shared by our community continues to expand its borders. As home monitoring becomes more prevalent, it drives more patients to ask deeper questions about the nature of their sleep: the differences between deep and light sleep, and why our patients sometimes go bump in the night.
Some say the Earth is only 35% explored. The oceans cover 70% of the planet, and remain a mysterious, undiscovered blue horizon. Perhaps then, the mind is similarly uncharted, with our consciousness only explored during the passions and peaks of our time spent awake. As practitioners and explorers amid the vast seas of the slumbering mind, it is unsurprising our fascination and wonder about the mysteries of sleep.