The registered nurse who cares for sleep-center patients at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center recently added to her health-care credentials. Susan deWeese has met the requirements to earn certification as a registered polysomnographic sleep technologist.
“Passing this exam signifies competence in sleep technology,” deWeese said. “The registered sleep technologist has the knowledge and skills to provide patients with excellent care.”
deWeese, who has been an R.N. for 38 years, became interested in this specialty as a result of being a shift worker for much of her life.
“I am interested in how the quality and quantity of sleep affects someone’s health - physically, mentally and cognitively,” deWeese explained. “For those who don’t sleep well, we can provide information about the function of sleep as a key health process. Maybe this will prompt them to further investigate their sleep problems and seek treatment, in concert with their physician.
“I also try to dispel the common stereotype about who can have sleep apnea, which is one of the most common sleep disorders,” deWeese elaborated. “It is not just the overweight, middle-aged man who snores loudly; slim, young people can also be affected.”
The technologist knows that St. Rose’s sleep studies are helpful because of the feedback she hears from patients.
“They say they are pleased with our services,” deWeese said. “We hear positive reports from patients who talk about their improved health and a sense of well-being.”
deWeese earned her nursing degree from Wichita State University and has spent many years working in behavioral health, quality improvement, clinic nursing and inpatient rehabilitation. She is a fourth generation Kansan who has been at St. Rose since 2008.
Brandi Gruber, St. Rose director of cardiopulmonary services, said the sleep center is fortunate to have deWeese on staff.
“It is unusual to have a registered nurse on a sleep-center staff,” Gruber said, noting it’s another example of St. Rose going the extra mile to care for patients. “Susan has the experience to help physicians diagnose and treat sleep disorders. We encourage people to ask their doctors for a referral to our center to take advantage of Susan’s commitment to her patients.”
St. Rose’s sleep center is the only one in Barton and surrounding counties that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Steve Ronsick, M.D., is the center’s medical director; he sees about 60 patients a month in Great Bend.