Moraine Valley Community College program coordinator of Sleep Technology, Debbie Guerrero, has made contributions to the field of sleep for about 30 years, and she was recognized for her work by being named an American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) Fellow.
Guerrero, who also is a professor of respiratory therapy technology, was inducted with five others as a 2022 Fellow in November. The AAST Fellow Program recognizes credentialed individuals who have made significant, sustained contributions to the field of sleep technology. It has only been inducting Fellows since 2017. Being a Fellow gives Guerrero another credential and more opportunities to be involved with the AAST.
“I’ve contributed some to our professional organizations, so when I got this honor, I was flattered, honored and surprised,” Guerrero said.
She is a Moraine Valley graduate who worked in respiratory therapy at hospitals and by chance entered the world of sleep technology in the late 1980s. Once she did, she was hooked and passionate. “I’m fascinated by how sleep plays an important role in health. I’m a sleep preacher,” she explained.
In 1993, Guerrero started at Moraine Valley as an adjunct instructor of respiratory therapy before the Sleep Technology Program was born in 2001. Of the 41 accredited school sleep programs in the country, Moraine Valley is the only one in Illinois.
In addition to her work at the college, Guerrero has been involved in the sleep field in a variety of ways. She has reviewed and was editor of the current textbook for students; has conducted seminars and workshops to help prepare students for the Certification in Clinical Sleep Health exam; chaired a committee that accredits sleep schools; helped start the Illinois Sleep Society and served as president at one time; and she is on the AAST education advisory committee.
The sleep field is still comparatively young but has come a long way, according to Guerrero, and there is a demand for nighttime sleep techs and daytime sleep educators. “This is an excellent health care field with lots of possibilities, but it’s not as well known. It’s rewarding and a lower stress career, no blood and guts and a slower pace, yet very rewarding.”
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.