By Julie Williamson

Continuing education and a commitment to knowledge advancement is essential for the long-term success of any Central Service/Sterile Processing (CS/SP) professional. Whether an individual is new to the profession or is a seasoned veteran (or falls somewhere in-between) and is seeking educational resources to elevate their knowledge, stay current on industry standards and best practices, brush up on the basics or sharpen their technical or managerial acumen, IAHCSMM has them covered. And now, IAHCSMM is offering webinars to the ever-growing array of educational resources available.

“Webinars provide a terrific learning opportunity – and the fact that they are accessible from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone makes them even more beneficial for today’s busy professionals,” said IAHCSMM Education Director Natalie Lind, CRCST, CHL, FCS. “Continuing education (CE) credits can be easily earned whenever and wherever is best for the individual.” As of press time, nearly 400 webinars have been viewed, which supports the notion that CS/SP professionals are interested in educational offerings that offer greater flexibility and accessibility.

Convenient, efficient, affordable

Webinars offer users unsurpassed convenience, affordability and efficiency. The webinars are available over the Internet and can be accessed directly on any web-enabled device; this means they can be quickly and easily accessed anywhere and at any time. Because of this benefit, many professionals are using webinars as a time-efficient, cost-effective way to train staff and enhance their knowledge and skill sets.

Additionally, there are no travel costs associated with participating in a webinar (and IAHCSMM members can participate in the webinars for free). Although webinar participation is a convenient, affordable way for individuals to advance their knowledge and gain CE credits, the webinars can also be beneficial for general staff/group training (e.g., for staff orientation and inservices). Most webinars are also relatively brief in length (great for time-crunched CS/SP professionals); however, they still feature valuable educational content. This lets participants gain knowledge that can help them improve quality, safety and performance on the job – but without a significant time commitment.

“An online webinar library also allows participants to review the presentations multiple times to help them revisit the materials for reference and apply the contents on an as-needed basis,” reminded Lind.

A growing repository

The series of webinars is offered at no cost to IAHCSMM members (non-members pay $15 per webinar). The webinars cover a variety of topics that can be used for general CS/SP learning and fall under the following categories: Employee Enrichment, Employee Training and Management. Current webinar topics include:

  • Behind Closed Doors: The Role of Central Service in Infection Prevention
  • Central Service Attire
  • Developing Teaching and Training Skills
  • Gamification
  • Immediate Use Steam Sterilization
  • Fostering a Mentoring Culture in Your Department
  • General Safety for Central Service Departments
  • High-Level Disinfection
  • Implant Processing
  • Loaned Instrumentation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Understanding and Developing a Competency Program
  • Survey Readiness
  • Environmental Cleaning
  • Preparing Your Staff for Certification
  • Sterilization Containers
  • Basic Instrument Inspection

“Additional webinars are currently under development and the webinar library will continue to grow across all categories to help employees and managers advance their knowledge and help them brush up on some of the essential basics,” said Lind.

Following each webinar, users will take a brief survey to receive 1 CE credit that can be applied toward certification renewals. Visit www.iahcsmm.org/webinars for more information and to gain access to the full webinar library. Please note: Once a webinar has been purchased, the user will have access to view the content through their IAHCSMM account portal. If one’s membership is in good standing, the cost of each webinar will show as $0 in the shopping cart; simply complete the $0 payment to gain access to the webinars.

– Julie Williamson serves as IAHCSMM’s communications director and editor. She has written hundreds of articles on topics related to central service, surgical services, infection prevention and materials management.