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New sleep technologist joins PVCH to care for patients
Caitlan Stice

The new sleep technologist at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital (PVCH) is using her education and experience to perform sleep studies and care for patients at the facility’s Sleep & Diagnostic Center.

Caitlan Stice, who recently moved to Larned, is a registered polysomnographic technologist. She helps specialists who study, document and analyze sleep patterns, providing positive airway pressure (PAP) therapies when indicated.

“There are a number of situations in which you should consider an appointment for a sleep study,” Stice said. “If you feel unrefreshed in the morning, tired throughout the day and/or wake up multiple times a night, a sleep study might be in order.”

Gasping or snoring also can be a concern, while hyperactivity in children may be a sign of sleep-disordered breathing, she added.

Stice outlined some additional information: during sleep, cycles go from light to deep; in the deep-sleep stage, organs are repaired; and if the airway is obstructed, the brain will tell the body to move to allow taking a full breath, which can lead to a change in cycles.

“Getting the proper rest is so important to our daily living,” Stice commented. “In addition, sleep disorders can result in health issues such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and stroke.

“I look forward to providing care and education to patients, while performing high-quality sleep studies to help prevent some of these problems.”

Stice said that even though she has been at PVCH only a short time, she already knows that “patient care is the top priority in the sleep lab and all other areas of the hospital. I also have been very impressed with the personnel and equipment in the sleep lab, which offers top-of-the-line care and treatment.”

The technologist began her sleep-medicine education at OIT in Klamath Falls, Ore., and earned an applied science degree with a certification in polysomnography in 2013.

She has worked in sleep labs in Aurora, Colo., Portland, Ore., several towns in Wyoming, and Billings, Mont. Stice has worked with all ages at varying levels of complexity. She was born and raised in Aurora, Colo.

Stice was familiar with Kansas because she visited her grandmother in Peabody during the summers. “I have received a warm welcome here and I love this lifestyle,” she said. “I want to raise my child in a smaller town with friendly people. This is very important to me.”

Megan Donecker, Sleep & Diagnostic Center director, said “all of us are excited that Caitlan came from Montana to create a new home in this great community and provide excellent care to our sleep-deprived patients. Her education and years of experience are assets to our sleep lab and the community.”