Infection Control Today

AUG 2015

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 40 8 ICT | August 2015 M ay 2015 marked my 18th month of working as a sterile processing technician. A lot has happened during the past year and a half, so this is a good time to ref ect on what I have learned about this important but behind-the-scenes profession in the healthcare industry. Since November 2013 my employer has been Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky. Founded in 1905 and now owned by the non-prof t KentuckyOne Health (a subsidiary of the Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives), the 462-bed hospital specializes in cardiology, neurology, orthopedics and pulmonary, and is federally designated to perform all f ve solid organ transplants (heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas). As a third-shift tech, I've been privileged to play a small role in the many recent and exciting changes that have taken place at Jewish Hospital's sterile processing department. The changes were summarized in our SPD manager's (Weston Balch, CRCST, CIS, CHL) Infection Control Today article, "Certifiably Educated: One Department's Drive to Serve with Smarts" (May 2015, Vol. 19, No. 5, p. 12). The brief ref ection—in the form of an acrostic—is based on hands-on training and education by means of weekly staff meetings and emails; hospital-led Safety Coach sessions; monthly reading of Infection Control Today; earning the three certif cations ("triple crown") offered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (Certif ed Registered Central Service Technician, Certif ed Instrument Specialist and Certif ed Healthcare Leader) and the bi-monthly reading of IAHCSMM's I nfection Control. Because hospital-asso- ciated infections (HAIs) are always a threat, they must be controlled by SPD techs like me who seek to break the chain of infection: Causative agent, reservoir of the agent, portal of exit of the agent from the reservoir, mode of transmission, portal of entry Into the host and susceptible host. If any one of these six stages is broken, then the chain is broken. L eadership. From the SPD and OR managers, supervisors and lead techs, to Jewish Hospital's chief medical off cer Jeffrey Goldberg, to KentuckyOne Health president and CEO Ruth Brinkley, I've been impressed with the many positive changes being made at the 110-year-old Jewish Hospital. This includes the following organizational culture concepts that KentuckyOne Health introduced in 2014, and that were guided by the f rst-rate Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group: Mood Elevator, Appreciation, Be Here Now, Accountability, Curious and Assume Positive Intent. E thics. Isn't relegated to just a university course. This branch of philosophy has a very real application for the SPD worker even though the patient is "sight unseen." P atients. They're always the No. 1 priority and concern. R ewarding. Next only to church ministry employment, this is the most meaningful job I've ever had. I have volunteered in hospitals before—the Hospital of Central Connecticut (New Britain, Conn.) and the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)—and a sibling is an OB/GYN physician, but this is my f rst time being employed in the healthcare industry. Though pressure filled, hospital employment is worth my time and best effort. A fascinating job that is different each day. O perating Room. The SPD liaison to the OR is key to having an amiable and productive partnership. Communique; reading of the 240-page ANSI/AAMI Comprehensive Guide to Steam Sterilization and Sterility A ssurance in Health Care Facilities; taking the Instrument University course "Surgical Instrument Care and Handling" by Spectrum Surgical (STERIS); and attending the 50th annual IAHCSMM conference and exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 2-6, 2015, courtesy of a scholarship from Belimed. S team sterilization. It 's helpful to understand the science behind and history of sterilization. For instance, it was the physician, pioneering microbiologist and Nobel Prize-winning Robert Koch (1843- 1910) and his German associates who f rst devised the f rst non-pressure f owing steam sterilizer in 1881. And it was in the 1890s that Aesculap created the f rst rigid sterilization container. Originally made of stainless steel, the containers switched to a lightweight anodized aluminum in the 1960s. T eamwork. It's absolutely crucial if the SPD and the operating room (OR) staff are to safely and successfully serve the patient. E rror Prevention. I've made my share of errors and have hopefully increased in humility and fewer errors by learning from my mistakes. Good training and mental focus are huge. With repetition being a key to learning, it's important to learn how to do repetitious tasks correctly early on in one's training. R everence. This is one of the four values of KentuckyOne Health that I see on display every day at work. My employer def nes reverence as "Respecting those we serve and those who serve." "As a third-shift tech, I've been privileged to play a small role in the many recent and exciting changes that have taken place at Jewish Hospital's sterile processing department." perspectives By I. Francis Kyle III, CRCST, CIS, CHL Refl ections on My First 18 Months as a Sterile Processing Technician

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Infection Control Today - AUG 2015