Hospital Staff Achieve New Certification as Sterile Processing Technicians

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is pleased to announce that eight staff members recently earned accreditation as King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s first ever Certified Sterile Processing Technicians, following a year long training course.

The staff are from the hospital’s Sterile Processing Department (SPD), which cleans and sterilizes equipment used in surgery and other patient areas in the hospital.

“This new certification allows our SPD staff to build on the introductory instruction initially provided by the hospital,” said Loretta Santucci, Surgical Programme Manager. “It is a new course and we are very proud of these employees, who are the first members of our staff to have achieved this milestone. By completing a comprehensive, 12-module programme and passing 15 separate examinations, our graduates have greatly increased their skill set. This course recognizes the vital role SPD plays in providing excellent patient care in surgery.”

The in-house course, designed by SPD Coordinator Ebenezer Asirvatham, is based on guidelines established by the International Association for Healthcare Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM).

“This certification is an important accomplishment,” said Ebenezer. “SPD staff are healthcare professionals who have become an integral part of the surgical team”

Modules included the study of surgical instrument sterilization, anatomy, microbiology, infection control, decontamination procedures, instrumentation, packaging, inventory and distribution of surgical supplies, as well as human relation skills in a healthcare environment.

Janel Lodge Fletcher, one of the graduates, said, “Becoming a Certified Sterile Processing Technician has given me confidence and a sense of pride. My knowledge base has improved significantly.”

About the Sterile Processing Department:

The sterile processing department (SPD) plays a vital and integral role in supporting surgical services. The SPD team performs all aspects of the sterilization process on items needed to assist with surgical cases and prepares instrumentation for other patient care areas.

During the past 20 years, a dramatic increase in the sophistication of procedures has created the need for a new generation of complex and minimally invasive surgical instruments and devices. This has presented many challenges for SPD, including the need for new training and orientation programmes. Today´s SPD technician needs up-to-date knowledge to ensure patient safety.

With over 9000 surgeries performed annually at KEMH, SPD plays a major role, including:
• Reprocessing 57,000 operating room surgical instruments/trays per year.
• Reprocessing 7,000 wards & clinics treatment instruments/trays per year.
• Preparing 8,000 surgical case carts for regular and emergency cases per year.
• Performing 6,000 sterilization programmes per year.
• Performing 1,900 biological monitoring tests to assure sterility per year.

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