July 12, 2013


What’s Going on in YOUR Sterile Processing Department?

How important is the cleanliness of your surgical instruments to you? Unless you’re working directly in the healthcare world, it’s probably not even something you think about. But you should be thinking about it, and I’ll tell you why.

If you’ve been keeping up to date on the news lately, you know that superbugs and viruses are more prevalent and stronger than ever. Outbreaks are popping up all over, from cruise ships to your meat to hospitals. Yup, I just said hospitals, the place you go to GET RID OF your illness not gain another one. So if your doctor is operating on someone with one of those viruses or superbugs, I’m betting you want his or her surgical instruments to be completely cleaned and sterilized before they’re used on you. Right? So this makes the job of a Sterile Processing Department (SPD) Technician really, really important. Right?

But wait, with the exception of New Jersey, SPD Technicians in the United States don’t even require certification. We all just agreed that SPD Technician’s job is important. And I’m sure these technicians are great at what they do. But we must also take natural human error into account. Add that to the fact that SPD professionals are expected to clean more and more instruments in less and less time. So how are we making sure that decontamination and sterilization is kept consistent and to the same high standard in every hospital across the country? Good question. It seems like we standardize everything else. In fact, here are 5 jobs you might be surprised to know require certification:

  1. Nail Technician
  2. Personal Trainer
  3. Truck Driver
  4. Mechanic
  5. Massage Therapist

And I’m not saying at all that these jobs shouldn’t require certification. I think these are all important jobs, and these workers should be trained to some sort of standard in order to perform their job to the best of their ability. But if the person giving me my manicure needs to pass a test to prove they’re qualified, I would think the person cleaning the surgical instruments being put INSIDE my body should be certified as well.


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Filed under Daily Blog Posts, Gimme Five Friday

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