146 - Building a Sustainable Sterile Processing Workforce Though Partnership
Description: Currently , sterile processing or material management technicians have a limited number of options for receiving training locally or regionally- most of the training for these positions is on-the-job training. For several healthcare facilities in the state of southern Indiana and in Louisville, Kentucky, the inability to identify qualified applicants meant hiring individuals with little to no healthcare background and lack of education regarding sterile processing. This poster will illustrate successful partnerships that allowed a school system with a robust certified nursing assistants program, a pharmacy technician program, and a newly established pre-nursing program to partner with healthcare systems in this area to offer high school students another career pathway at a Career Technical Education Center, CTEC, in New Albany, Indiana. The goal of the poster is to provide other healthcare institutions a creative way to establish a better qualified and trained pool of applicants for sterile processing and materials management position in the healthcare facilities. This program also provides dual credits from a local community college for the healthcare classes that the students complete in there junior and senior year at the CTE school. Hence, the high school students can begin their healthcare college education during their the last two years of high school. So, basically the CTE school, the local community college, and the healthcare facilities in the area join in a partnership to educate Sterile Processing and Material Management students by providing classroom instruction and clinical instruction at the facilities in the area. The outcome of the cohorts for the Sterile Processing and Materials Management program at this time have demonstrated positive outcome. The graft in the poster will provide the outcomes of the student working in the field of sterile processing and the students who are continuing to attend college classes in the health care field. The other interesting outcome, has been the number of students in the program that are interested in continuing their education in operating room nursing or surgical technology. The students are utilizing their healthcare knowledge and college credits to further their education in preoperative nursing and surgical technology. This may bridge the knowledge gap between the sterile processing department, material management, and the surgical department staff. Thus, as the complex technology in the sterile processing department increases, it is imperative that the communication between operating room staff, sterile processing staff, and materials management staff join hands in providing Safe Patient Care during surgical procedures.