Transform Sterile Processing Onboarding with Incision Academy

Incision · · 4 min read

We are tuning-up to showcase a brand new Incision program to an esteemed audience at the 2023 Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) Annual Conference in Nashville. In this blog post, we would like to briefly introduce you to the program and explain why we are making it.

Sterile Processing (SP) is a foundational component of modern surgical care. It requires expertise, precision and rigorous standardization to deliver safe and effective instrument reprocessing; behind every procedure, a highly skilled SP team is working diligently to supply the tools that make clinical care possible. These teams represent some of the unsung heroes of healthcare, working tirelessly to meet the needs of patients and enable frontline care provision — day in, day out.

Despite this, Sterile Processing Departments (SPDs) and the professionals within them are an often overlooked and underserved professional group. Chronic understaffing has compounded the urgency to train and orientate new staff quickly and cost-effectively, with SPDs responsible for onboarding new technicians themselves. Traditional training comes with a hefty supervision burden, with senior staff responsible for bringing juniors up to speed. This stretches existing SP capacity, overburdens departments and reduces overall SP productively.

On an individual level, pressured onboarding programs create a highly task-oriented training that can lack formal structure, theory and background. Many new technicians have little-to-no experience in healthcare or clinical teaching. Coupled with the need to get up-to-speed as quickly as possible, this gives little space for the new technician to understand the “why” behind the task — making the link between actions and patient safety difficult to grasp. Limited background teaching can limit subject ownership and clinical identity, impair professional development and — ultimately — negatively impact long-term SP retention. Compounded by post-COVID-19 backlogs, chronic wage stagnation and high-volume workloads, SP staff can be left feeling undervalued and demotivated.

These are some of the reasons why we are developing the Incision Sterile Processing Program, built explicitly to support SPDs to enable a safe, efficient and successful start for new professionals. Our program offers:

  • Practical learning. We prioritize real-world scenarios to ensure new professionals are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in their role, right from the start.
  • The 'why'. We foster professional development, subject ownership and continued educational motivation by helping new professionals contextualize their vital role in the perioperative team.
  • Optimized onboarding. By streamlining, structuring and standardizing the onboarding process, we help teams get up to speed and reduce the burden on existing staff.
  • Standardized structure. We deliver tried-and-trusted, high-quality learning material through an accredited online platform — ensuring that all new SP professionals receive the same high-quality training they deserve.

Content is aligned with industry standard guidelines to cover the new technician’s main areas of practice and the core components of SPD orientation. We place specific emphasis on the rationale behind reprocessing and the implications for the operating room and patient care, giving context and nurturing continued education and professional development. Through a standardized, structured and highly intuitive approach, we provide SPDs with an easy-to-implement onboarding framework that promotes quality, consistency and safety across SP practice.

We are excited to showcase our program at the 2023 HSPA conference and cannot wait to begin sharing it!

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