Operation “Aseptic Guardians”: Surgical and Sterile Techs On the Healthcare Frontlines!
It is no secret that our modern health care workers (surgical and sterile techs) are often true medical warriors fighting for the health and well-being of their patients every day. While some battles, such as injury and disease are well known, one of the most important battles rages strongly and quietly behind the scenes – the war against germs. Infections are the most common complication afflicting hospital patients. Infections prolong hospital stays, escalate costs and can cause significant harm to patients. According, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 722,000 hospitalized patients annually will acquire a serious healthcare-associated infection (HAI) and a shocking 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.
It is against this backdrop that any army of highly trained and talented medical professionals have been marshalled to aid and eradicate healthcare-associated infections and improve the safety and quality of medical care.
Akin to the rear guard, Sterile Processing Technicians (SPT’s) are a specialized group of medical health professionals who are in the “trenches” battling against the spread of disease and infection on a daily basis. Also known as, Sterile Techs, these professionals are often the first line of support and defense to combat the spread of infection and reduce preventable and possible life-threatening contagions. Sterile Techs are assigned to a special unit called the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) (or sterile processing department/ SPD) where all cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of medical instruments and equipment takes place.
Suited up in their battle gear of hospital-issued scrubs, protective gloves and other personal protective equipment, including impervious gowns, shoe covers or boots, face masks and eye protection, the technicians fervently go on the attack against disease-causing germs and microorganisms! Their weapons targeted against the spread of infection range from good old soap and water to advanced decontamination and disinfecting apparatus such as ultrasonic washers, steam autoclaves, liquid based washer/disinfectors and vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization systems. Central Sterile Services Departments often employ a multi-pronged line of attack to achieving their mission of a highly effective sterility assurance program. The CSSD operations usually consist of the reprocessing, which includes cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing of medical apparatus and other medical supplies so that they can be safely redistributed and reused on additional patients.
Although, these “germ fighters” may not get the accolades and commendations they so richly deserve, their mission critical function in infection command and control, serve to provide direct operational backing for the delivery of superb care and patient safety in today’s modern medical facilities and hospitals.
Another band of “microbial combatants” allied in the fight against septicity are often referred to as “Scrub Techs”, “Operating Room Technicians” or “Surgical Technologists” and are highly trained medical specialists who play a strategic role on a surgical care team normally comprised of surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other healthcare workers. Surg Techs are assigned to several diverse medical units including surgery departments, obstetric departments, and ambulatory care centers.
Surgical technologists have a number of duties to perform in and out of the operating room as well as before and after surgical treatment. A pre-emptive strike against the spread of germs and other microbes begins with the setting-up of the operating suite by gathering sterile instruments and equipment needed for surgery and continued preservation of a sterile battlefield. A “Scrub” may also prepare patients for surgery, including positioning patients on the operating table and covering them with sterile surgical drapes to prevent exposure. The tech may also assist the surgical team to “scrub in” and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing.
If you are interested in enlisting in this “warrior core” who honorably serve our hospitals and their patients, do it by securing the education and training that you will need at Stautzenberger College. Becoming a Sterile Processing Tech or a Surgical Technologist allied-health professional is a great way to truly make a difference in the lives of people on a daily basis. With the exciting earning potential and rapid growth projected for this career field, now is an ideal time to complete education and training. At Stautzenberger College in Brecksville, Ohio, we offer a two-year Academic Associate Degree Program in Surgical Technology and a 40-week Diploma program in Central Sterile Processing Technology that is dedicated to providing quality education for its students in order to promote excellence in this allied-health discipline.
Each of these programs have been carefully designed to blend didactic instruction, hands-on training in the lab and clinical work to ensure that learners develop the requisite knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to gain employment as entry-level techs and become contributing members of the multidisciplinary health care workforce. Contact Stautzenberger College, Brecksville today and begin your education in:
Call toll free at 1-800-473-2997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.
Written by: John Girard
John Girard has been the Campus President of Stautzenberger College, Brecksville Campus since 2012. John is an experienced educational leader with over 19 years of collaboratively leading growth, successfully improving student outcomes, and shaping a culture of excellence in the field of higher education. He has held various roles in his career including instructional faculty, Dean of Student Services, Dean of Instruction, Dean of Academic Administration and Campus Director. John resides in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with his wife Tamara and their two children Jack & Jillian and his faithful dog, Zeus. Contact Stautzenberger College at 1-800-473-2997 or by e-mail at email@example.com.