The Heart of the Hospital: Sterile Processing Department

As told by Eric Christopherson, IAHCSMM, Sterile Processing Professional Development Specialist

“87,000 sterile instruments. That’s the number of reusable surgical instrumentation that the Sterile Processing Department at Mercy Health cleaned, inspected and sterilized last year, which were used for many different procedures throughout Mercy Health. Sterile Processing is a key part of Surgical Services and an integral part of infection prevention and patient care of our facility.

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“The service we provide is one of the most important parts of preventing infections for our patients. Our primary service area is Surgery Services, which provides inpatient and outpatient care to more than 1,000 patients a month.

“Our work also includes processing products for:

  • The Birth Center,
  • Emergency and Trauma Center,
  • Mercy Health Physician Partners’ offices,
  • clinics and
  • ancillary departments.

“Our colleagues, called sterile processing technicians, are required to know how to clean, inspect and sterilize hundreds of surgical instruments in preparation for patient use. We are a customer-service department providing clean, functioning and sterile instruments for patient care providers to deliver high-quality treatment to ensure a positive outcome for all Mercy Health patients.

“The week of October 14 is when Sterile Processing is recognized nationally, shining a light on these amazing people, the unsung heroes who work in the ‘heart of the hospital.’ To be a successful technician, you have to possess an immense understanding of how our work impacts patients and have a level of passion that helps deliver the highest quality care of our patients. Although we do not have direct contact with the patients themselves, our work touches every patient who comes through our doors.

“Every patient deserves the same level of quality care. That is always the goal of our technicians in the Sterile Processing Department.”

Colleagues, if you are interested in learning more about the sterile processing department, please click here to be taken to Workday.

If you are interested in working at Mercy Health view the many opportunities available by please clicking here.

Also contributing to this article is Brandon Irwin.

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