Sunday, January 21, 2007

Textbooks "Taste Better" When Purchases Advance Peer Educational Web Portals

My crowded bookshelves always have room for more sleep textbooks. Back before the Internet offered the array of sites that provide textbooks today, those with an interest in sleep education were burdened with phoning publishing houses directly to acquire these resources. With few toll-free numbers available at that time, a hold time of 20 minutes was not uncommon, and frankly worried the call holder’s pocket, not to mention the lost time sitting on hold while they could be using to get some sleep before their nightshift started.

Although somewhat pricey on a sleep tech’s wage, we eagerly devour the contents (many times sans concern about the financial sacrifice), to enhance our own knowledge bases to be better healthcare providers. Certainly, it is the responsibility of each individual drawing a wage from a field to seek and to acquire continuing education and training. This is especially the case for healthcare providers that seek educational enhancements and tools, while at the same time complying with state profession regulatory rulings on training requirements. I've never seen a thing wrong with someone taking the responsibility for investing in their own future.

When a new student of a profession enters their field, the huge selection of “must reads” and "would really LOVE to reads" can be daunting, thus, in-field clearinghouse tools can greatly assist. I have purchased many of my own textbooks through rather well-known book distributors, and have been quite satisfied with the transactions, as a rule. However, I was always pleased to find programs where not-for-profit educational sites received donations as part of the proceeds from the larger distributors’ sales if book orders were placed through the smaller groups’ Web sites.

This concept is a win-win for situation for those of us that are consumers of both gently used or new textbooks, plus online (trusted) educational resources that come from the heart of our own sleep medicine and technology peer groups. I found such a program at Binarysleep. Andrew Korbel, a board-credentialed sleep technologist from Texas, launched this World Wide Web portal that is fueled by the core principals of community, education, and expression. The site is a recipient in a donation program through book-distributing giant, Amazon, and donations allow the site to continue its educational work. An ongoing attribute of is education and credentialing preparation for those involved in sleep technology. Quizzes, and a "live chat" are available to registered users, and you’ll often see seasoned peers helping many of their new-to-the-field counterparts experiencing technological pitfalls through pointing the “newbies” to professional industry standards or troubleshooting techniques. Andrew deserves the gratitude of many new sleep techs for providing a path illuminated by seasoned professionals sharing their trusted resources and knowledge.

I’m happy now to have found this donation program that benefits my new-to-the-field colleagues through Binary and Amazon, because this is how this consumer will make textbook purchases from now on. Hats off to Andrew and colleagues for giving something back to the sleep community.

Be well, Sleep Well,

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