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St. Rose sleep lab undergoes improvement, expansion
biz slt StRose sleep disorders
Brandi Gruber, St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center director of cardiopulmonary services, foreground, and Linda Farthing, St. Rose vice president, check a reading on new equipment at the sleep center. The St. Rose center has moved to the second floor. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center sleep lab patients now have a more comfortable, convenient location for their care and treatment. The Sleep/Wake Disorders Center has moved from the third floor to the second, and is home to new equipment and a new staff member.

"This new location offers us more flexibility in scheduling too," said Brandi Gruber, director of cardiopulmonary services. "We currently accept patients three nights a week and will later increase to six nights a week, including Fridays. This means patients will not have to wait long for our services."

Once the expansion is complete, the center’s capacity will increase from an average of 24 patients per month to 36. Four rooms are now available, instead of two, and all have their own bathroom and shower; one is handicapped accessible.

"Our new location is more comfortable and affords more privacy," Gruber commented. "We know how important this is to patients."

The new EMBLA equipment, which is used in diagnostics, also benefits patients, Gruber said.

"This is the latest in technology," she said. "It is used in all our testing to reach the proper diagnosis."

One of those tests is called polysomnography, or PSG. It measures the physical changes that occur during sleep, such as breathing patterns, blood-oxygen levels, heart rhythms and limb movement.

"All patients are asked to take this test so that we can determine the best way to help them get a better night’s sleep," Gruber said. "It is great to have the newest technology available."

Susan Deweese, R.N., is new to the sleep lab. She has been a registered nurse for 37 years and is now specializing in sleep technology.

"We couldn’t be more pleased that Susan has joined our staff," Gruber said. "She brings a wealth of nursing experience to the job and is dedicated to helping those with sleep disorders."

Anyone who doesn’t have quality sleep is a candidate for sleep studies, Gruber noted. "It can be difficult to concentrate and keep up with day-to-day activities if you are not rested.

"Left untreated, sleep disorders can cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and motor vehicle accidents," she added. "We can study the patient’s sleep habits and find a treatment that greatly enhances their quality of life."

Sleep apnea, which causes breathing to stop during sleep, is a common reason people seek help. Other reasons include sleep disturbance related to night-shift work and restless leg syndrome.

Sometimes medications are prescribed and other times a nighttime CPAP device is the answer. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.

Steven Ronsick, M.D., the St. Rose center’s medical director, sees about 60 sleep-disorder patients per month in Great Bend; he is based at the Hutchinson Clinic. Dr. Ronsick is the only area physician who is board certified in sleep medicine.

The St. Rose sleep center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, "which is the gold standard to ensure the highest quality of medical care," Gruber said.