Stephen found his focus in respiratory care and helping patients overcome sleep disorders

Born with a hearing deficit that worsened after brain surgery, Stephen Tarnoczy, BSRT, RRT, RRT-SDS, RPSGT, CCSH, has learned to make excellent use of his vision. He developed a passion for nature photography to share his love for all living things and show others what they can’t easily see themselves.

Stephen brings the same vision to his work as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and Sleep Disorders Specialist (RRT-SDS), where he pieces information together to capture the big picture of his patients’ sleep issues. His focus on excellence in respiratory care has been deeply rooted for 30+ years, ever since he saved the life of his infant son, who had suddenly stopped breathing.

His son’s life-threatening event became Stephen’s special motivation to never stop learning and growing, which ultimately led him to pursue specialty credentials from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

“My credentials exemplify my specialized skills and leadership in the field,” says Stephen, 56, now a Polysomnographic Technologist at Oklahoma Heart Hospital. “I strive to be a great role model for continuous education and learning more than what’s required, so I can be at the forefront of what’s best for my patients.”

Stephen, who has a bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care, prides himself on working through small details to capture a 360-degree view of each patient’s sleep behaviors. “All aspects of life are affected by sleep, so it’s very rewarding to have specialized knowledge that helps give others the gift of a good night’s rest,” he says.

Stephen also teaches in various capacities as adjunct faculty, clinical instructor, associate professor, program director and guest lecturer. At every teaching engagement, he encourages students to keep their eyes focused on the future by advancing their education.

“Advanced credentials make you so much more marketable. NBRC specialty credentials represent outstanding opportunities to stay sharp and prove yourself as a subject matter expert in the field.”

– Stephen Tarnoczy, BSRT, RRT, RRT-SDS, RPSGT, CCSH

Always a visionary, Stephen is now writing a book about his caregiving experiences, including how he helped save his own son’s life all those years ago. His goal is to tell a story, through a series of real-life snapshots in time, that inspires others toward excellence in respiratory care.