It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the role of sterilization technicians behind the scenes in the operating room. But the many years of education and experience of a surgeon can be undone if the instruments they use have not been properly sterilized. When a surgeon picks up an instrument to perform an operation, they assume it is safe to use on the patient. But without proper sterilization procedures by well-vetted sterilization techs, they may not know what they are working with.
While you understand how serious surgical site infections can be, you may not know how prevalent they are as, indicated by these statistics from Infection Control Today:
Sterilization technicians play a critical role in patient safety. They must decontaminate and deliver instruments; assembling the specific kits or trays each surgery requires. Because of the complex nature of some instruments, attention to detail is critical.
Bacteria is growing increasingly antibiotic-resistant, making sterile equipment even more essential. It’s much simpler to prevent infections, such as MRSA, than it is to attempt to treat it. Because of the importance of the role of sterilization technicians in keeping patients safe, screening and vetting is vital.
Technically, an individual can work in this position with just a high school diploma or a G.E.D., but when you are hiring for this critical position, you should expect more.
Currently, only Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Tennessee require certification of sterilization technicians according to the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).
This may spread to others states as hospitals recognize the importance of qualified SPDs and ORs to prevent the spread of infection. Surgical Site Infections cause injury and death to patients, anger physicians and cost the healthcare industry untold millions of dollars.
To learn more about hiring surgical specialists who are knowledgeable, experienced and thoroughly vetted, contact the experts at MOAB Healthcare, the nationwide leader in sterilization technician staffing.