Central Sterile Processing.Net Reviews Of People Who Took The Course The Future of Sterile Processing Education – Online Training For Sterile Processing Technicians

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The Future of Sterile Processing Education – Online Training For Sterile Processing Technicians

Currently, our profession is one of the most under recognized and underpaid of the clinical technicians in the modern health care setting. This is a very sad state of affairs when one considers the importance of the role of the sterile processing technician in the hospital and surgery center setting. Quite literally, no direct patient care providing medical center can function without them!

It is unlikely that hospital administrators will come to an epiphany on their own with respect to the profession within their respective facilities and seek to reach down and help elevate the SPD department and, subsequently, its technicians. It is, in pretty much any endeavor, futile (not to mention lazy and irresponsible) to sit around any hope for things to get better. Some times, we have take the initiative upon ourselves.

In central services, one organization, IAHCSMM, has been at the forefront of this for many, many years. And other independent and group efforts are underway, organizations such as The Central Sterile Processing Initiative. But a more concentrated effort is now needed if we are to move the profession forward. If what we have been doing for years isn’t giving us the results we both want and need, then it is clearly time to step back and evaluate.

It is the contention of our initiative that there are several areas upon which we should, as a profession, now be focused-mandatory certification is not the biggest hurdle and should not be our ultimate goal. We can aim higher than even this lofty enterprise. To learn more about these areas and our ideas, please visit The Central Sterile Processing Initiative’s website.

But for the discussion at hand, we are interested in one topic alone, education. Before the sterile processing professional can be lifted up, he or she need be worthy of such elevation. It is time that we stopped treating sterile processing as any other support services area such as environmental or dietary and begin to focus on both the clinical and technical aspects of the field. This entails a much more educated technician.

The initiative’s view of education is not centered upon simply plans of self-study, brief courses and seminars, and then, finally, passing a certification exam. Rather, we proffer that the education of a sterile processing technician should be no less rigorous than that of any other technical/clinical associate’s degree-level program. The reasons for this should be obvious (the complex understanding of microbiology, chemistry, and physics required; infection control prevention, patient safety, etc.)

We know that this won’t come quickly or even easy but it is a goal that we should be focused upon. Certification should be second to such an educational paradigm shift.

The above being said, we are not opposed to certification-on the contrary! Today, professional certification is the highest possible standard for the sterile processing professional and it is a MUST. We both recommend certification via CBSPD and IAHCSMM to all of our students and require it of our affiliate instructors.

How can we begin to implement the above recommended changes in our own professional arena?

First, let’s take a look at the current educational situation. Today, the only real educational options for sterile processing educational progression are: 1) self study, 2) the occasional seminar/training session, 3) some course offerings via community and technical colleges, and 4) vendor sponsored programs and inservices.

Self study is a viable option for some, but it is limited in scope and not everyone does well without the appropriate structure of the classroom setting and fixed curriculum.

Seminars and the occasional training session are good opportunities for learning but self-limiting due to several factors. For one, they aren’t available in all locations and at regularly scheduled times. This makes is difficult for many. As well, they, due to the short time frame which they run (anywhere from several hours to several days) only so much information can be conveyed.

The community/technical college offerings are good first steps, however, the problem again is location-they just aren’t convenient for the greater population as the sterile processing course offerings aren’t standard programs as would be, say, radiology technician training. As well, these programs can be costly.

Many vendors offer educational programs and some of these are indeed outstanding. However, with vendor sponsored programs, there is always a catch-there is a clear product bias and, in many instances, this can cause more confusion than do good. Vendor neutral educational programs are to be preferred.

Despite stating the negatives associated with the above, these are in fact integral parts of the sterile processing educational platform and are not to be shunned but rather seen merely for what they are-ancillary educational arenas-but these alone cannot move the profession forward. These are just first steps.

This is one of the driving goals of The Central Sterile Processing Initiative-develop comprehensive online training curricula for sterile processing professionals that one can accessed at anytime, from anywhere, at an economy price so that we can put more and better education into the hands of those who would otherwise miss out on such opportunities.

Copyright 2010 by Shane Huey. All rights reserved.

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