Sterile Processing: Knowledge, Skills, Competencies

Processing instruments and equipment plays an integral part in achieving every healthcare facility’s mission to provide safe patient care. Each individual, and every process performed in the sterile processing department (SPD), has an impact on patient safety. Demonstrating and assessing competencies permit everyone in the SPD to ensure that the instruments and equipment used for patients will not cause infection.

Achieving competence means that we understand why we do what we do.  That's not the same thing as just doing what we’re told. Competent employees are prepared to make informed decisions because they know where to find the answers to "How do I do this?" or "Why should I do it this way?"

Designed for both technicians and managers, Sterile Processing—Knowledge, Skills, Competencies is organized into modules that describe the key terms and principles critical to sterile processing. This resource provides new (and maybe not-so-new) employees with the evidence needed to make the right decision every time they face a question about instrument processing in each of the essential areas:

  • Point of use/transporting soiled instruments
  • Cleaning and decontamination
  • Assembly and packaging
  • Sterilization
  • Sterilization monitoring
  • Storage

A series of eight competency checklists, included at the end of each module, provides valuable tools for managers who wish to assess their staff members’ performance in safe sterile processing at every step of the way.

About the Author

Terri Goodman, PhD, RN, CNOR, is a perioperative nurse and active member of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).  As director of education at Johnson & Johnson Medical, Dr. Goodman participated in the development of a postgraduate course designed to establish sterilization and disinfection as a professional specialty in Latin America.  She believes strongly that SPD and OR employees must become true partners in the delivery of safe patient care.  Dr. Goodman is the editor of Essentials of Perioperative Nursing, and the recipient of AORN's 2014 Jerry G. Peers Distinguished Service Award.

Published: September 2015, 65 pages

Product CodeFormatList PriceMember Price
SPKSC print $154 $104
SPKSC-PDF PDF $154 $104
SPKSCSET Book and PDF Set $222 $154
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