Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Outpatient Surgery Edition - Infection Control - May 2018

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/980201

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Page 66 of 66

of view, such as instrument type, which tray it belongs to, and how to inspect, clean and sterilize it. AR would give techs access to instrument instructions for use at the point of need. What's the biggest misconception about sterile processing techs? The belief that they have a low impact on a facility's success, low importance and low skill because they make a small fraction of what surgeons and nurses earn. It's difficult for others to fully appreciate the benefits that sterile processing brings to a facility's bottom line, even though reprocessing every instrument properly every time avoids surgical site infections and case delays. A job done well in cen- tral sterile provides significant value, while a job done poorly results in significant trouble. What can surgical leaders do to help sterile processing techs feel valued? Encourage them to pursue industry certification and, if possible, fund their continuing education. Those are things high-quality facilities do for employees in related positions, but similar opportunities don't often reach the sterile processing department. Reprocessing techs are often forgotten about in the basement. They're physically removed from the rest of the perioperative team, eating in different places and having their own meetings. That only widens the divide with the OR and the misunderstanding between the teams. To bridge this gap, ster- ile processing staff must be included in educational opportunities, daily meetings and the general everyday life of the surgical depart- M A y 2 0 1 8 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 6 7

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