CS CONNECTION “Preparation is key in any endeavor,”

said Lind. “Those wishing to enter the field of central service must understand the re- quirements of the job and be prepared to meet those requirements. Certification helps those aspiring for a career in central service to enter employment with an understanding of the job tasks and requirements. Those cur- rently employed in central service will benefit from both certification and continuing educa- tion. Certification helps the CS professional understand why each step in the process is important, and it helps keep both patients and employees safe.” Kovach points out that those CS/SPD professionals who have achieved certifica- tion have a competitive edge when seeking employment. “When you are looking for a position in this

field, the interviewer knows you have a basic foundation of knowledge so your training curve at the facility will be shorter as you ap- ply your knowledge to their specific process,” said Kovach. “You have an understanding of why you need to follow the instructions for use (IFU) or why you need to put an indicator into every item sterilized. Overall, certifica- tion lets everybody know that the certified person has taken pride in what they are do- ing and we all know that improves patient outcomes and that is what it is all about.”

Resources for CS/SPD professionals “What makes this industry really exciting right now is that it is finally coming to the surface,” said Wood. “Over the past two years we’ve determined what we really need in terms of resources to advance the profes- sion. Now we are paving the way to greater patient safety.” Overbey urges CS/SPD personnel to join

and be active in the various professional or- ganizations (e.g., IAHCSMM, AAMI, CBSPD, AORN) to maximize their knowledge, have an impact on the industry and increase the safety of patients. “Continuing education is a must in health-

care, and that’s certainly the case for central service,” said Lind. “Not keeping abreast of changes has the potential to cause harm to a patient or coworker. There are so many op- portunities to gain knowledge and expertise in the field of central service. Whether it is an article such as this one, standards and regulation information, internal in-services or information provided by outside sources, savvy professionals will take advantage of every opportunity to learn. It is that type of thirst for knowledge that will help prepare them for additional responsibilities and ca- reer advancement.” Here are just a few of the industry re- sources available to CS/SPD professionals

who are seeking to gain certification, ad- vance their knowledge and training, and earn continuing education credits.

Aesculap The Aesculap Academy has a world-wide reputation for medical training of physi- cians, senior nursing staff and staff in OR, anesthesia, ward and hospital management. The courses consist of hands-on workshops, management seminars and international symposia. Courses are of premium quality and accredited by the respective medical societies and international medical associa- tions.

Case Medical Inc. “The need for SPD training and certification has become not just a requirement but a necessity. There is simply so much informa- tion to learn to keep up with new technology and challenges,” said Case Medical CEO Marcia Frieze. “We are committed to edu- cation and training as well as developing products that meet the needs of SPD professionals.” According to Frieze, Case Medical supports these efforts with educa- tional programs on-line and on-site, as well as in-services with its clinical specialists to reinforce best practices. The company’s online Case Academy features programs with CEUs for CS/SPD and other healthcare professionals who wish to further educate themselves and their teams.

Marcia Frieze

Circle of Care Circle of Care, an organization whose objective is the reduction of healthcare- acquired infections (HAIs) through education and collaboration, is active- ly involved in organizing interprofes- sional collaborative educational (ICE) conferences in various cities throughout the U.S. with industry organizations such as IAHCSMM, the Association of periOp- erative Registered Nurses (AORN), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST). Circle of Care also offers an on-site and e-learning certification preparatory course tailored towards CS technicians with years of on the job experience and knowledge but no formal theoretical training. The course provides CS professionals with the skills necessary to provide excellent patient care and opportunities for career advancement. The e-learning courses are available 24/7 and are accessible on any device. According to the organization’s Founder and Director of Collaborative Education Kisha Miller,


Circle of Care’s online pro- gram is comprehensive, affordable, convenient, and effective. She states: “As a result of CS profes- sionals obtaining certifica- tion, job-related knowledge and skills acquired are ac- tively transferred to the point of care to meet the growing demand and complexities of the CS department. The organizational benefits range from highly engaged employees, improved clinical processes and improved quality patient outcomes. Everybody wins!”

Kisha Miller

Healthmark Through its website, Healthmark Industries offers fun and educa- tional games focused on proper cleaning of surgical instruments. All of the company’s educational games and departmental in-ser- vice programs feature continuing education credits (CEUs) from both IAHCSMM and the Certification Board for Sterile Process- ing and Distribution (CBSP). Participants receive a free CEU credit after completing the quiz at the end of each game.

Mobile Instrument Service and Repair Mobile Instrument Service and Repair of- fers educational programs which offer one credit towards IAHCSMM, CBSPD annual certification. The company’s programs cover general and laparoscopic instrument care and handling, rigid and flexible scopes, powered surgical equipment, electrosur- gical equipment, and video equipment. Mobile Instrument combines its CE pro- grams with hands-on education focused on reducing repairs and proper inspection of surgical devices and instruments. Ac- cording to Product Manager Lisa Hawley, clinical staff benefit from the CE credits and the facility benefits from better equipment readiness, reduced downtime, and reduce inventory and repair spend. The company also provides online learning tools for its customers with staff who are studying for their certification.

Ruhof Healthcare Corp. Ruhof Healthcare presently offers a pro- gram of free accredited continuing educa- tion at both national and local trade shows for nurses and CS/SPD technicians alike. According to Marketing Manager Noreen Costelloe, these CE opportunities have been very well received. As a result, the company is setting up online CE programs to help its customers benefit by continually advancing their knowledge. “We strongly believe that ongoing education, training and mentor- ing are critical to the success of any clinical department,” said Costelloe. HPN

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