A few weeks ago we asked our readers to share with us what they did during International Sterile Processing Department (also Medical Device Reprocessing ) Week. We would like to share with everybody the story from Southlake Regional Health Centre, in Newmarket, Ontario. The story was submitted by Lorna Coutoulas, Manager of the Department: Staff in Sterile Processing and Medical Device Reprocessing are often overlooked for the important and critical work that they do behind the scenes to keep our hospitals and our patients safe. Without these vital technicians and attendants, there would be very few or no surgical procedures performed. Staff use their skills to identify devices, disassemble, inspect and sterilize, always making decisions for the correct reprocessing of reusable medical devices. Staff ensure that equipment is functioning correctly by monitoring and testing following relevant standards and Best Practice documents. Staff must be certified to work in this area of expertise and must recertify every 5 years to keep up with changing practices and technology. Medical Device Reprocessing Week (MDR) week is our way of recognizing and thanking the staff who do this every day. It is also a chance to show and tell your organization who we are and what our role is. At Southlake Regional Health Centre (Southlake), we celebrated the work of our SPD and MDR staff with in-services and refresher classes on technology we use. Highlights of these events included: We had an orthopedic company present a Bone Lab where staff got to plate and screw fractured bones using a drill. This is normally a lab they present to surgeons and nurses, and we felt it would be nice for the staff to understand. Staff were very excited and really enjoyed it. We had a staff member who took on a major project to organize the numerous types of implants we have in the department and then gave an excellent in-service to the staff on how she had organized them. We had an in-service on our Low Temperature sterilization system to refresh staff on the process and why it is important to follow procedures and quality monitoring. To recognize our staff, we held daily draws for gifts, a bushel of apples from the orchard and various goodies the staff brought in. Our Director also wrote a thank you note and had banners made and posted in areas that we supply with sterile equipment. This allowed and encouraged staff around the organization to recognize the SPD/MDR staff for the important work they do. The team of SPD/MDR at Southlake consist of SPD Technicians, the PA's (Procedure Attendants) for the operating room and PA's for Endoscopy. They all take great pride in their work, providing a quality product, following standards and never forgetting the patient at the end of what they do. They disinfect and assemble thousands of instruments and instruments sets every year. They are responsible for all the equipment needed to perform their tasks. They process flexible endoscopes of all kinds, pick case carts for the operating room, run for blood, supplies, take specimens to the lab and make sure the nurses and surgeons have everything they need for the surgical procedure. Of all the tasks they are assigned to and perform, it takes a great deal of teamwork to be able to accomplish them all. I am very proud of the team at Southlake, who deserve to be recognized daily. They work in a fast paced, ever changing environment and take it in their stride as part of their job, always with the patient in their mind. As a Manager, they are my 'Dream Team'.


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