They say an aha moment is a point in time, some event, or experience when one has a sudden insight or realization. This past weekend I experienced an aha moment about our profession.
Let me explain, I was asked to speak at the Connecticut Central Service Association meeting. As I arrived to the meeting area, I was greeted by their President Peter Daigle, he quickly reached out his hand and welcomed me. As we shook hands, there was a lot of activity going on by members. Next to us was a table being filled with bags of food. Members were asked to bring food to help fill a local food pantry and if they brought something they got a special ticket for a drawing for an iPad Mini. That was only part of what was going on. At another table on display was the actual Bill that was signed by the Governor that will ring in a new era in patient safety in Connecticut. The Bill makes it a law that anybody that does medical device reprocessing must be certified and maintain their certification with a minimum of 10 CEU a year. If that was not enough, another table had on display the various entries in the contest of "Design your PPE." People were placing their votes for the best design. On top of that you could hear attendees sitting at various tables having coffee and donuts waiting for the program to start, talking not only about family and life in general but about work concerns and how others were solving similar problems. Lastly, a special cake was made for lunch that had their state society emblem in icing on it, very cool.
The pre-meeting activity spilled over into  the actual meeting itself. The attendees' questions to all of the speakers (Chuck Hughes, Josephine Colacci, and myself) were excellent. Not only technical types of questions, but ethical questions and about how they can implement some of the suggestions from the speakers. As a speaker, you could feel the energy from the attendees at the podium.
During the last break of the day, as with most meetings, various drawings were held and then the announcement of the winner of the "Design your PPE" contest. I was the last speaker and was ready to start my last program on Understanding Your Automatic Washer after the announcement of the winner, but my aha moment was about to take place.  All of a sudden Tom Tantillo walks on to the stage with a guitar around his shoulder and begins to sing an original song about Sterile Processing. Next thing I know, people are singing and waving their hands to the music. It was amazing (yes, I was able to record this moment).
Over this last year I have attended a lot of meetings, all of them special in their own way. All having their own form of energy. This, like the other meetings I have attended this year, had members not only from Sterile Processing but the OR, IC and the GI areas. This combination of members is just great at these meetings. This meeting in Connecticut just reinforced that our profession is going in the right direction. We are meeting with our peers, sharing thoughts and ideas, learning about each other and what we do, or as they say we are "starting to walk in each other's footsteps" to better understand how we interact to provide the best patient care. I have seen leaders of our various state societies that are engaging their members in many ways to make the meeting not only informative and educational but fun to attend.
Here I was, Central Service Week was ending and when I heard that song and the attendees smiling and waving their hands in the air, that moment just supported what I already knew and have felt: We are reprocessing professionals that care about about our patients and what we do. If given the right tools and time, we will get the task done the right way each and every time. That is what CPD really stands for, the Creative People Department.
I want to again say that I am proud to have worked in Reprocessing and hope everybody enjoyed our special week.
What a way to end Central Service Week.


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