Four Northern Essex Community College’s Sleep Technology Program graduates among those working in the Neurocare Sleep Lab at Lawrence General Hospital are, front, Mariuxi Cabrera of Lawrence, Adlin Siri of Haverhill and Viveno Moreno of Haverhill. Back, Jesus Chico of Lawrence. (Courtesy photograph.)
Because of a shortage of sleep technologists, students in Northern Essex Community College’s Sleep Technology Certificate Program are getting jobs before they graduate.
Newton-based Neurocare, which has worked with Northern Essex seven years, is hiring students for paid, entry-level positions.
“This was a terrific opportunity for our students,” said John Murray, the college’s program coordinator. “They get hands-on experience, earn money, and have first dibs at full-time jobs when they graduate.” Last spring, half of the graduating class of 18 was hired by Neurocare.
Adlin Siri of Haverhill, a 2016 graduate of the program, started working for Neurocare’s sleep clinic at Lawrence General Hospital three weeks after her graduation. The 2004 Lawrence High School graduate says the field is “interesting” and “rewarding.” “It feels so good to help someone with a sleep issue like apnea. You really feel like you’ve accomplished something.”
The shortage of sleep technologists is being driven in part by the closure of at least two sleep technology programs in recent years. Northern Essex is currently the only college in New England graduating sleep technologists.
“If we didn’t have Northern Essex, we wouldn’t be able to service our clients’ needs,” said Pam Hurlburt of Neurocare, who said she has confidence in the quality of the Northern Essex program and the preparedness of its graduates.
Technologists score studies, evaluate EKG’s, take vital signs and work closely with patients to explain sleep disorders and therapies. Starting salaries for sleep technologists are $19 an hour.
There are more than 80 sleep disorders with sleep apnea being the most common.
Northern Essex is recruiting now for the 10-month Sleep Technologist Certificate program starting in September. For more information, contact Murray at 978-655-5892 or [email protected] or visit necc.mass.edu.