Sterile Processing Schools, Education, and Training

A common keyword phrase searched for on the major search engines is “sterile processing schools.” You will find some of the schools (mostly career, technical, and community colleges) that will come up in such searches on the CSPI website. Inclusion in the CSPI links section does not indicate endorsement, rather these are placed merely for your convenience (this site aims to be a consolidation of resources on all things SPD).

A few notes about such programs…

1) Though most such programs are “certificate” programs, one is not deemed certified upon completion of these programs. One still must register and apply for either the CBSPD or IAHCSMM exam and pass to achieve certification.

2) Most of these programs cost $1000+.

3) Most of the programs are live, on-campus offerings and therefore one must live near such a program for it to be of any benefit. Virtually no programs are offered with an online option (there are one or two good ones, e.g., the program via Purdue Continuing Education). However, most of the online offerings aren’t 100% online.

4) Such training programs (primarily speaking to those looking to break into the field) don’t guarantee employment opportunities.

5) Quality control. There is little uniformity in central sterile processing education and as such quality is always a question.

Considering all of the above (particularly affordability, convenience, and quality), it is for this reason that The CSPI is set to launch a completely online, comprehensive SPD courses that are affordable, comprehensive, convenient, and quality products.

The SPD profession has been under served and under valued for far too long. There is a long way to go before it achieves the standing in the professional healthcare community that it deserves-that its professionals deserve.

There are several ways to raise the standing of the profession and both center around education. The first way is for SPD technicians take the initiative for education and personal growth upon themselves and pursue every avenue to increase their knowledge base and thus, subsequently, equip themselves to provide a better quality patient care product.

Secondly, is for perioperative leaders (those of whom to whom SPD reports directly) as well as infection control directors and hospital administrators to recognize the importance of the sterile processing field and department within one’s facility and the role of sterile processing in infection control and patient safety. Administrators, those with the most local power to impact the SPD profession (at least at their facility and within their own organizations) should take the time to learn more about the field and department. Sterile processing will then be viewed as a clinical and technical field and less pure service and support arena.

One thing that an administrative team could implement today is to require their HR departments to mandate, for new hires, a minimum of 6 months work experience, professional certification, and at least completion of a minimal course in central sterile.

The profession is changing rapidly and, as the profession changes, how it is viewed by its clinical and technical peers will continue to change as well.

Copyright 2010 by Shane Huey. All rights reserved.

Student Loans – The Great Lakes Higher Education and Affiliates

Have you ever hear about The Great Lakes Higher Education and Affiliates? They are a specialized niche website that offers several services for students that need help. This article will mention some of them, for example: information in order to apply for a student loan, and not just in order to apply, they offer advise in order to understand what a student loan is, you get counseling aids, even they can manage your student account and make payments in your behalf, let review then what The Great Lakes Higher Education and Affiliates may offer you:

Student Loan Information;

The Great Lakes Higher Education and Affiliates website offers several options for students:

1.- The main section is for borrowers, where you can manage your account and contact information, make loan payments or consolidate loans as well. This section lists many tips for repayment options too.

2.- Secondly, there is a schools option, on there you can learn about their services and products and get online access to yours, you can download reports as well and order materials and forms.

3.- Thirdly, in their section “financial aid professionals” you get student counseling, professional training, delinquency and default prevention tips, among others.

4.- Finally yet importantly, in college access counselors section you will find free resources to help students and families achieve their goals for higher education.

To sum up, The Great Lakes Higher Education and Affiliates website offers valuable information for students, while you might be thinking that college is very expensive and that there is no way you can go for it, do a little research on internet, it is free and you could be surprised, just give it a try.

Tips for Recruiting and Training Pharmaceutical Representatives

Is Biopharma Missing the Mark on Recruiting and Training Sales Representatives?

In 2011 81% of physicians surveyed said they wanted Higher Quality Sales Representatives. Higher Quality means sales representatives who were better educated and trained, more experienced and consultative and competent when discussing clinical studies. This issue will focus on two things you can do to improve the perception doctors have of pharmaceutical and medical sales representatives, Recruiting and Training.

Recruiting
Over the past decade biopharma has been focused on recruitment of new sales representatives with the objective of winning the “share of voice” or “arms” race. Many people believe we have sacrificed quality for quantity. Years ago we used to hire nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists as sales representatives who had extensive clinical backgrounds.

Now that the “Arms” race is over, it is time to begin to hire representatives with more clinical expertise. There are a lot of reps with prior pharma experience to choose from now so make sure you determine during the interview if the candidate possesses a knowledge of understanding and presenting clinical data and discussing evidence based medicine.

A good way to do this is to ask the candidate to speak extensively on their previous product and look for depth of disease state knowledge. Determine if they understand treatments other than their own and if they can discuss clinical data.

Training
While the biopharma industry is known for rigorous training, our current methods are lacking. Physicians are willing and eager to see representatives who provide value by expanding their focus beyond product to include disease state knowledge and clinical research.

It can be as simple as understanding clinical problems your products can solve and discovering which problems the doctor is experiencing. The percent of doctors wanting more discussion of clinical studies has risen from 80% in 2005 to 89% in 2011.

This leads us to believe that the industry has not improved on this measurement, rather we are getting worse. I suggest a return to the basics of presenting clinical studies the way they are set up in the study abstract. Each study abstract is organized according to the SOAP communication format.

Biopharma may be missing the mark on recruiting and training sales representatives who are competent at discussing clinical studies and evidenced based medicine, but this can be reversed by improving the way we recruit and train new sales professionals we hire into this industry. It is up to us to give doctors what they want and need in industry representatives.