Nursing Informatics – Integrating Health Care With Information Technology

What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing Informatics is the integration of clinical nursing with information management and computer processes. It is a relatively new focus in health care that combines nursing skills with information technology expertise. Nurse informatics specialists manage and communicate nursing data and information to improve decision making by consumers, patients, nurses and other health care providers.

The nursing process has four main steps: planning, implementation, evaluation, and assessment. However, because information management is integrated into the nursing process and practice, some nursing communities identify a fifth step in the nursing process: documentation. Documentation and patient-centered care are the core components of the nursing process. Automated documentation is vitally important, not just for nursing, but for all patient care. Up-to-date, accurate information at each step of the nursing process is the key to safe, high quality patient-centered care.

The successful implementation of information systems in nursing and health care requires the following: First, it is necessary to have well designed systems that support the nursing process within the culture of an organization. The second requirement is having the acceptance and integration of information systems into the regular workflow of the nursing process and patient care. Finally, it is important to have resources that can support the previously mentioned factors. One of the most effective and valuable resources a healthcare organization can add is a Nurse informatics specialists.

Nursing Informatics Specialists

Nursing Informatics Specialists are expert clinicians with an extensive clinical practice background. These individuals have experience in utilizing and implementing the nursing process. These nurses have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. They also understand the patient care delivery workflow and integration points for automated documentation. Having additional education and experience with information systems is also important for this occupation. Finally, Nursing Informaticists are excellent project managers because of the similarity between the project management process and the nursing process.

To be competitive in this field one should become familiar with relational databases by taking a class about database structure. They should also become competent and comfortable with MS Office, especially Excel, Access and Visio.

Why these jobs are Important to Healthcare?

Nurse and health informatics bring a great deal of value to patients and the health care system. Some examples of how they provide value include:

  • Provide Support to the nursing work processes using technology
  • Increasing the accuracy and completeness of nursing documentation
  • Improving the nurse's workflow
  • Automating the collection and reuse of nursing data
  • Facilitating analysis of clinical data
  • Providing nursing content to standardized languages

HIMSS and RHIO

To provide some background on the field of healthcare / nursing informatics, there are some governing bodies for this field. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the main governing body for health care and nursing informatics professionals. This group, formed in 2004, has the following four goals: NI awareness, education, resources (including websites), and RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization).

RHIOs are also known as Community Health Information Networks (CHINs). These are the networks that connect physicians, hospitals, laboratories, radiology centers and insurance companies.They all share and transmit patient information electronically through a secure system. Those organizations that are a part of RHIOs have a business interest in improving the quality of healthcare being administered.

Steps to a Job in This Field

To enter into the nursing informatics field, typically you need a minimum of a four year degree. There are specific health informatics degrees available. Earning your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is also a requirement before sitting for the ANCC certifications test for Nursing Informatics. Some individuals start with just a two year degree or diploma, but continue on to earn their BSN before becoming certified. Although there are several different routes for getting into the field, the most favored manner is to earn a Master's in Nursing Informatics from the start, however, most individuals start their career prior to earning their master's degree.

Most nurses who are in the informatics field start in a specialty area, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Services (OR), Med-Surg, Orthopedic Nursing, or Oncology, just to name a few, and work in that specialty field for an extended period. Working in a specialty area helps nurses get to know the normal working processes and routines as well as understand the patient care process in their specialty. They usually are experts at their specialty and then develop interests in computerized documentation or some other technological healthcare focus. They then tend to gradually move into an information systems clinical support role.

If you have an interest in nursing and technology, this might be a career that can match both of these skills into one rewarding job.

Athens Icon Stands the Test of Time

The Majestic Acropolis is the most breath taking and inspiring sites that eyes can behold in Europe. It is placed high on a hill overlooking the city of Athens, Greece and when standing before this monument of history, time seems to stand still. At night, the Acropolis glows as is it were on fire from the upright lights that illuminate its awesome beauty. Since the Acropolis is located high above the city of Athens, it can be seen from almost anyplace in the city looking down as mighty as the mythological Greek Goddess in which it was built, Athena.

At the bottom of the Acropolis, the journey to view it begins with a narrow passage that winds up the mountain passing other Greek ruins like a small ancient amphitheatre and finally at the top there are other structures similar to the Acropolis that are almost as inspiring the Icon itself, the Acropolis.

Greece is one of the prettiest destinations in Europe and choosing only a few photos of Greece for a recent photo contetst was no easy task, but the Acropolis won’t be ignored. Our Greek vacation included Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini and the photo that actually won second place in the contest wasa photo of a gingerbread like house perched high on a cliff in Santorini, Greece over looking distant mountains and the Aegean Sea.

Mykonos is a short ferry ride from Athens and is a was a good starter island for what lay ahead on our vacation. It is a very small and pretty island known as the party hot spot for spring break travellers in europe. Most of the Greek architecture buildings in Mykonos are painted white which is a preferrred and traditional color for the Greek islands located in the Aegean sea. Renting an atv or scooter is a popular choice of transportation to see the island because it is small enough to travel a few minutes to see the beaches and towns located there.

Paros is the larger of the Greeks islands visited while on vacation. Renting a car to see Paros is a must. Paros has a large marble quarry industry that exports its high quality marble to destinations across the world. Its capital city of Lefkes, is located near the center of island and is perched high on a mountain. Its is a very charming city with very friendly inhabitants.

The last stop of our Greek Vacation was the best, Santorini, Greece. Words can’t accurately describe Santorini. It is so beautiful and was the “Icing on the cake” of our vacation. There is so much to see on that tiny island. Arriving by ferry, the ride into the harbor is stunning because all of Santorini is located approximately 200 feet above the water high on a plateau with red and black cliffs. The aqua blue waters of theAegean Sea in contrast with the colorful cliffs and white buildings makes for a picturesque arrival. Once the ascention from the Dock to the summit is made, there is a view like no other. From anyplace on the islandScience Articles, there is an awesome elevated view over looking the Aegean Sea onto a volcano located just across the harbor from Santorini. Words do not give santorini the justice it deserves and Santorini is thought to be the location of the lost city of Atlantis.

Heart Health and Clean Arteries

Clogged arteries are responsible for a number of ailments including heart pain, high blood pressure, and peripheral arterial disease. Many of my male patients are shocked when I tell them that plaque build-up may even be causing their erectile dysfunction. How can that be? All of these conditions stem from the same cause, insufficient blood flow through arteries.

In the first part of this series, you learned how coronary artery disease and blocked arteries could lead to serious health consequences. I recommended some non-drug, non-surgical treatments you can do on your own to both prevent and improve arterial disease and its symptoms.

Now I'd like to expand on an alternative method of dissolving plaque and increasing blood flow in arteries using specific vitamins and safe chemical compounds. This therapy is called oral chelation.

What Is Chelation Therapy?

Chelation therapy has been used since about 1955 for treating heart / arterial disease. The idea of ​​using chelation for heart disease sprang from using chelation for toxic lead, arsenic, and mercury levels. A compound called calcium disodium EDTA, an amino acid, binds to those metals. The EDTA-bound metal is then removed from your body through urination.

Using this toxic metal removal model, it was thought that a variation of the same compound, disodium EDTA, would bind to plaque and remove it from arteries. Based on this same principle, oral chelation formulas were created.

Oral Chelation Supplements

People have taken oral chelation supplements for years as an alternative treatment for coronary artery disease. In fact, because of their widespread use, the National Institute of Health recently began a clinical study to document the specific benefits of chelation therapy.

As I tell my patients who ask me about oral chelation formulas, I feel the better ones contain a lot of heart / artery-health promoting vitamins, minerals, and food-derived chemicals that can be of benefit in promoting heart and artery health. Let's look, then, at what I think a good oral chelation supplement might contain:

• B-Vitamins – like B6, B12, and folic acid, known to be crucial to heart health in reducing homocysteine, a chemical that promotes plaque. They also maintain energy.
• Magnesium, potassium, selenium – these are heart-healthy minerals that keep heart muscle functioning correctly, regulate heartbeat, and prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and turning into plaque.
• Bromelain, malic acid, garlic – these food-based compounds from pineapples, green apples, and garlic dissolve saturated fats and prevent them from hardening into plaques.
• TMG (trimethylglycine) – also known as betaine, derived from beets, this chemical IS actually FDA-approved for treating high homocysteine levels.
• EDTA – as noted above, this chemical binds to arterial plaque and removes it. EDTA is also FDA, and USDA, approved as a food additive.
• NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) – a chemical found in high protein foods, it is an amino acid that, like EDTA, also acts as a toxin binding / removal agent.

How Does Oral Chelation Work?

Oral chelation formulas come in pill form and are taken like you would any other supplement. They go to work by binding to mineral deposits (namely calcium which plaque is), breaking it down and liquefying it so it can be removed from your arteries. Drinking plenty of filtered water daily will help flush the chelated minerals and toxins out of your blood.

It's a good idea not to take any mineral supplements until a few hours after you take a chelation formula as the minerals can be chelated out of your system. Prescription medicine should also be taken a few hours apart from chelation supplements.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E supplements should be taken as they are antioxidants which help prevent oxidation of cholesterol into plaques.

Benefits of Oral Chelation Formulas

There are several arterial health conditions which can benefit from the artery-flushing effects of oral chelation. They are:

• Coronary artery disease, or CAD – blockages in the heart can cause heart attack.
• Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD – lack of blood flow to legs and feet causing pain.
• Erectile dysfunction – resulting from blocked arteries , lack of penile blood flow.
• Carotid artery disease – decreased blood flow to the brain, can cause stroke.

Although oral chelation therapy may still be a controversial subject, it has its following of loyal supporters. According to Everyday Health, a recent survey of people who used chelation therapy, 62% said it gave them a sense of control over their heart disease. For optimum effectiveness, chelation supplements should be combined with a heart / artery healthy diet, no smoking, and beneficial exercise.

As with any supplement, read labels and be sure you have a quality oral chelation formula with ingredients such as those mentioned above. Consult a doctor familiar with the use of oral chelation formulas. They can monitor you, ensure their correct usage, and avoid any possible adverse effects that may arise.

The Diet Of Costa Ricans And How It Keeps Them Healthy

Located between Panama and Nicaragua in Central America, Costa Rica boasts a proud culinary heritage. Many scorn Costa Rica food selections for being high in saturated fats, but in actuality Costa Ricans are far more active than other cultures.

Costa Rican's, locally called Ticos, never eat excessively. Limiting their portions is one way they stay so healthy. Also, lunch is the most important meal of their day. In fact, like many Latin nations, businesses and schools close down for a couple of hours at lunch so that employees and students can go home and have a leisurely meal with their family. This allows both a strong focus on family life, but also on slowing down a meal. In America, a typical school lunch lasts a mere twenty minutes at most and work breaks are usually an hour tops, so many must eat at their desk or machine. A Costa Rican's lifestyle is completely different.

Costa Rica food often revolves around rice and beans, such as Gallo Pinto, a dish that translates to "Spotted Rooster". Gallo Pinto is a dish that includes black beans at a three to two ratio to rice. Also added are onions, garlic, and salt. Meats are eaten sparingly, while beans provide a high content of fiber. Fiber can help counteract the saturated fats. Costa Rica food choices rarely include dairy or cheese.

As Costa Rica has water on both sides with the Pacific to the west and the Caribbean to the east, fresh seafood is always available. Unfortunately, the seafood is also extremely expensive as the country exports the bulk of its seafood. Chicken, pork, and beef are the more popular meats. Costa Rica food supplies use organ meat as well; so expect to find dishes involving stomach, brains, and other organs on the menu. Other staples of Costa Rica food choices include fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and a variety of beans, fruits, including plantains, and rice.

Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose, is packed with outstanding restaurants and cafes. In San Jose, one can experience bold foods and beverages. Staple beverages such as sugarcane soaked in hot water are second only to the nation's delicious Costa Rican coffee. Drinks mixing corn meal and milk are also common. Plantains are similar to bananas in appearance, but they can not be eaten raw. Plantains are pounded flat, battered, and fried tender.

As one travels to other regions, the choices for Costa Rica food also decrease and become more traditional with the beans and rice dishes. Beans and rice dishes are usually served alongside a carrot and cabbage or lettuce and tomato salad. Sometimes Arroz, (fried shrimp or chicken), are found on the table instead of beans and rice. The salads are typically larger than the portion of beans and rice and that helps the Ticos to stay fit.

It is possibly to choose healthy selections of Costa Rica food. Stick to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy the delightful blend of culinary flavors.

What Are the Disadvantages of School Vending Machines?

People see snack vending machines everyday, usually no matter where they go. They are so common that most are not given a second glance unless the person passing needs a chocolate or soda pop fix. One's only lunch preparation is to make sure to have a handful of change for the machine.

This has made school vending machines a popular thing in schools across the world. This article is going to discuss why these machines are a problem for schools and students alike.

Initially, the idea of ​​having vending machines in schools did not seem too bad. Junior high and high school kids seemed like great candidates for snack vending consumers. This is exactly why schools choose to place the machines in their schools. It is widely known that schools are usually low on money, so what better way to generate some extra income than through their own students!

Kids will pump hundreds of dollars into drink and food vending machines rather than purchase what the school is serving for lunch in the cafeteria. Still, this does not seem like such a bad thing, as the children enjoy the snacks and the school makes a little money. It seems as though everyone wins.

Unfortunately, winning is far from what the children are doing. Supporting the presence of school vending machines makes the people on school boards all across the world hypocrites. In general, schools try to teach good health and nutrition to their students, they even go as far as to have certified lunch programs to show how well their students are being fed.

By allowing these snack vending machines, they are losing everything they have worked for in the past. There are, however, ways to get around this. The fact is that the children will eat and drink whatever is offered, so instead of offering soda, offer water vending.

This notorious issue could be changed quickly. Chances are the children will probably be surprised but not too upset if they are presented with healthier options. This is not to say that candy and soda need to be taken out completely, just less of it.

If the schools intended for their students to eat unhealthy all of the time, then they would not have put forth the effort to teach them about nutrition and healthy food choices in the first place. School vending machines do not have to be a bad thing. With a few changes, they can be useful in many ways.

Why Italian Food May Cause Your Heartburn – Tips to Help Your Acid Reflux

Italian food may be causing your heartburn. If you regularly get heartburn, it may be possible to minimize the effects by trying some easy modifications in your routine. Taking medicine might just be a final resort if you attempt these small-scale modifications before hand.

It is common to be affected by acid reflux later in the evening, so make a decision not to snack later at night. The last food you eat needs to be a couple of hours before you retire. If you like snacking later at night, it's time to try to put an stop to it.

If you want to stop your acid reflux, you should know that may be a huge part of the problem. If you want to limit your chances of getting acid reflux, steer clear acidic foods. Cut back on certain beverages like tomato juice, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.

Sometimes the foods themselves may seem okay, but they induce your stomach to make acid, which in turn creates acid reflux conditions. Foods that are high in fat, such as chocolate, and hot foods incorporating peppers will cause heartburn. Foods that have tomato sauce, like pizza, are truly a trigger when it comes to heartburn and should be limited.

If you truly desire to avoid the painful sensation of heartburn, you should think about watching portion sizes. You should dish out more diminutive portions. Consuming too much can cause the acid in your stomach to be driven upwards, which often leads to a painful burning sensation in the esophagus.

Top 5 Wrong Perception in Having Steamboat and the Right Practice

With recent popularity of eating steamboat in winter season, many people have steamboat more frequent as usual. However there is also some health conscious and healthy diet practicer and analyst complain on consuming steamboat is not healthy, potential in having high cholesterol, overheat, and even as worst as contributing cancerous element to our body. Actually there is no bad natural foods, only wrong eating methods. Here listed out the top 5 most common wrong perceptions about eating steamboat and share the right way of consuming this delicious healthy steamboat cooking.

Wrong Perception 1: Mutton and Beef has too high fat quantity level, whereas fish balls and meat balls has lower fat. The selection of ingredients of steamboat will directly impact the fatty and heat level we consume. In reality, processed fish balls, meat balls, prawn dumplings and others has more fat, high salt level, bad meat quality, at some extend the balls are blended with a lot of starch rather than the actual meat, so it really contains not much nutrition and vitamins.

Suggestion: Select skinny meat, low fat seafood, more vegetables or replace meat with bean curd to fill up the protein needed.

Wrong Perception 2: Green vegetables – more is better. All of us understood that eating more vegetables is good, so in steamboat we add lot of vegetables, soak them in until it is well done. But particularly in steamboat, green vegetables with big leaves is subjected in easier to absorb more oil from the soup, mushrooms also has the same function, hence it makes the green healthy vegetables to a high fatty and oily vegetables, no longer healthy.

Suggestion: Instead of choosing big leave green vegetables, why not select those stem type vegetables like seaweed, lotus, carrot, radish, potato, and yam. Since these type of vegetables will not absorb so much oil element in the soup, more over the high fiber in these vegetables can help to remove the oil that park inside our stomach.

Wrong Perception 3: The calorie level between different sauces are the same. Most of the time we neglected the sauces also contributed high calories into our diet, as usually we will consume a lot of sauces for better taste and flavor. Example the frequent use sauce like garlic oil sauce, sesame sauce, chilies sauce and other sauces will have easily 100 calories in 1 big tablespoon.

Suggestion: Replace these above high calories sauces with fresh cut chillies, spring onion, white pepper into soy sauce, which will reduces at least half of the calories in the sauces. You can add in 2 teaspoon of vinegar to help in dissolving fatty oil in the foods.

Wrong Perception 4: Finishing up steamboat meal with desserts or main dish (noddles, rice, etc). Usually a lot of us will finish up the steamboat with some main dish like fried rice or noodles and some sweets. Actually this is not right as we might over consume with excessive calories.

Suggestion: The right way is to consume only 60-70 percent fullness, if you want to have desserts or main dishes. If you have taken too much starch base foods, just avoid main dishes and drink some teas to help in digestion.

Wrong Perception 5: Slowly enjoy eating steamboat for hours while chit chat along. Even we understood the benefit of eating slowly, but it does not apply in eating steamboat, since the steamboat soup base once it is cooked for more than 90 minutes, the nitrite level in the soup will increase and consuming more nitrite is not good.

Suggestion: Control your steamboat eating session around one and half hours, no longer than this duration.

Hope you find this practical and useful to you all.
Healthy Diet & Happy Live.

Type 2 Diabetes – The Effect of the Medicinal Herb Sumac on Blood Sugar Levels

Sumac is used as a medicinal herb in traditional medicine. Investigators at Iran University of Medical Science in Tehran and several other research centers in Iran and the United states, studied the effects of this medicinal herb on Type 2 diabetes.

Their study, reported on in the Iran Journal of Pharmacology Research in the fall of 2014, included 41 participants diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes …

  • 22 participants received 3 grams per day of sumac powder, while the other
  • 19 were given a placebo for 3 months.

It was found the blood sugar levels and HbA1c went down in the sumac group while remaining the same in the placebo group.

From these results it was concluded the sumac herb could possibly lower blood sugar in many people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Edible sumac is a different species from the weed that causes an itchy rash – edible sumac berries are known for their tart, fruity flavor. Their red color imparts a bright appearance to foods. According to Nancy Guppy, Registered Dietitian, the tart flavor of sumac comes from vitamin C.

Try making a chickpea salad according to a recipe from the website thekitchn.com. You will need chickpeas, garlic cloves, black pepper, red onion, Sumac, chili powder, Italian parsley, lemon, olive oil, pomegranate syrup, and sprigs of fresh mint. Make a tofu Or and veggie dish with a recipe from KBlog.LunchBoxBunch.com . It calls for broccoli florets, oyster mushrooms, safflower oil, firm tofu, sumac, tamari, minced ginger, chili powder, and (sugarless) maple syrup.

From S Alfez.com/moroccan_lebanese_cuisine/recipes/middle-eastern/middle-eastern-vegetarian-recipes/sumac-fattoush.html comes a recipe for a traditional Fattoush salad with olive oil, by cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, by red pepper, radish, onions, parsley leaves, mint, lemon juice, and sumac.

Sumac powder can be found on the spice aisle of many grocery stores and in most Middle Eastern stores. Several sources also offer it online.

Edible sumac is drought resistant and grows in all 48 contiguous states in the USA. It can be grown as an ornamental plant as well as for its fruit. Many people forage for edible sumac, which can be easily distinguished from the poisonous species which produces white or yellow berries in contrast to the purple-red berries on edible plants. A pink lemonade can be made from the berries. Pick a few clusters of berries and add them to cool, not hot, water. Allow the berries to soak until the water turns pink, which can take from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Add sweetener and enjoy.

An Interesting Incident In The Life Of Swami Vivekananda

A protagonist of the Cow Protection Society had approached Swami Vivekananda seeking financial help. The Swamiji after silently listening to him said, "A terrible famine has broken out in Central India. The Indian Government has published a death roll of nine lakhs of people. Has your Society done anything to help them?" The preacher replied, "No. Our organization is exclusively meant for the protection of mother-cows and so we do not see how we can do anything in the matter. Moreover it must be their karma that had invited the calamity."

Shocked by this atrocious reply Swamiji replied, "I've not the least sympathy for those organizations which do not feel for man, which do not offer a handful of rice to save the lives of their starving brothers while distributing piles of food to birds and beasts in the name of charity and love. I believe they are of no use to society. If one goes strictly by the theory of karma, then all efforts, all struggles for anything on earth including your drive to save the cows, become utterly meaningless . It can be well argued then that the mother-cows fall into the hands of the butchers and die according to their own karma and we need not do anything about this. "

Not knowing what to say the preacher said, "But Swamiji according to our scriptures the cow is our mother!" Swamiji sarcastically replied, "No doubt you are right; who else could give birth to such accomplished children!"

The preacher failing to understand Swamiji's mind once again begged for funds for the Cow Protection Society. When he had finished Swamiji said, "I'm a sannyasin, a penniless fakir. How can I give you monetary help? But if some day I have money I shall first spend it in the service of man. Man is to be served and saved first. He must be given food, education and spirituality. If any money is still left after attending to all these human needs, perhaps something could be given to your Society. "

As a strict vegetarian I can not stand the sight of even a chick being killed. By instinct therefore I naturally tend to support the ban but then one fails to understand 'why this selective sympathy for cow?'

Ban on slaughter of cows that is being demanded is mainly driven by vested interests attempting to get political mileage and little else. As a libertarian I firmly believe there must be complete freedom of choice for everyone in the matter of food.

The Importance of Technical and Clinical Knowledge in the Sterile Processing Department

Sterile Processing is, more often than not, at least by hospital administrators and those areas which SPD serves, looked upon as merely a service department not unlike food and nutrition or environmental services. Not to discount the roles that these other areas play in the healthcare setting, for they truly are important and essential and impact patient care, sterile processing is much more than just a support service and more directly impacts patient care and surgeon satisfaction.

Sterile processing is both a clinical and technical field requiring much knowledge and responsibility. Sure, pretty much anyone can be taught how to do the job and get by at it. But in sterile processing, it is so important for the technician to understand the theory behind and rationale for what he or she is doing in the department. For example, a technician who truly has a good grasp of the principles of microbiology is going to be better equipped to work adequately in decontamination and provide a better quality product than someone who lacks such understanding.

The same is true of sterilization and sterilization validation. Yes, anyone can place something into a machine, press a button, and remove the item and send it over to surgery (but there is more to sterilization and sterilization validation that microwaving a bag of popcorn!) How much better it would be if all techs everywhere could explain how the product was verified as being decontaminated adequately to minimize microbial counts satisfactorily enough to suffice for prep and package, ensure that the product was prepared according to standard and recommended practice, assure that product was placed into a sterilizer unit properly tested and functioning according to the manufacturer's guidelines and state how they know this, that the product was sterilized at the appropriate time, temperature, pressure, and at the right sterilant saturation level, that sterilization integrity was maintained post sterilization and during transport to point of use or storage, etc.

Sadly, as most CS / SPD managers will attest, though most SPD technicians can perform the job at a "just getting by" level, many lack the technical and clinical knowledge base that would enable them to be more effective infection control and prevention specialists ( which is truly what an SPD tech is in the perioperative setting).

It is common knowledge, despite the knowledge and skill, not to mention the responsibility, required of the SPD professional, that sterile processing is an under served, under recognized, and underpaid profession. If we are to raise our standing within the healthcare community, we are going to have to start focusing on three things:

1) Education. 2) State-mandated professional certification. 3) And, perhaps even, state licensure.

The first step is education. There needs to be more educational opportunities made available and this opportunities should be both accessible and affordable. For example, professional organizations, independent initiatives such as The Central Sterile Processing Initiative, vendors, etc. should partner together (or even on their own) to produce more and better educational materials. Not more vendor-specific in-service material, not short articles that provide a few credits to keep up certification (these are all good and fine and recommended as part of the overall plan but should not be the only options) but rather a comprehensive educational paradigm shift and concomitant curriculum.

One of the most powerful ways to reach the SPD professional today is via the Internet – online courses and training, at affordable rates will be what sets the stage for the next generation of SPD professionals.

Copyright 2010 by Shane Huey. All rights reserved.