The recent OR Today webinar “Establishing A High School Sterile Processing Clinical Program” was eligible for one (1) continuing education (CE) hour by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing.

The 60-minute webinar featured Elizabeth “Betsy” Vane, RN, MS, CNOR, CHL, CRCST, CSPDT, Health Science Teacher at Health Careers High School, and Deborah Austin, RN, BSN MA, Health Department Coordinator at Health Careers High School in San Antonio, Texas. The presenters mentioned that maintaining certified/qualified sterile processing personnel is a challenge for today’s surgical teams. It is time to move toward teaching high school students about this career field. Vane and Austin discussed the significant clinical and legal considerations for teaching high school students about the roles and functions of sterile processing personnel in an academic setting and within the hospital(s) in their community. Details about school district support of a national certification process was included.

The Microsystems-sponsored presentation was well attended and drew positive reviews via a post-webinar survey.

“This was a fantastic and timely webinar. We struggle to find trained sterile processing technicians. The department tends to be a revolving door. With each new hire, we start from the ground level again. My organization has already partnered with a local high school. This presentation gave us a roadmap to new opportunities with this existing partnership,” said T. McMeen, Erlanger Health System.

“This webinar was very informational. With the shortage of SPD Techs, having this program in our STEM high school would be great! We would provide education and training and jobs!  Awesome. Thank You,” shared K. Stengel, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Quality & Safety Nurse Specialist.

“This webinar was fabulous! We hope to replicate this high school program! My role is clinical education, primarily nursing education, so I did not know all the info requested regarding specifics in the OR/Central Sterile departments,” said J. Steelman, Erlanger Health System, Clinical Education Administrator.

“Phenomenal webinar! I so would love to develop this in our community,” said S. Weir, Great Plains Health, Periop educator.

“Our SPD has been in need of great improvement for years now. I feel we have just recently reached a point where our new system of tracking, etc. is helping. The employee turnover in SPD is still incredibly high, likely reflective of our ‘outgrowing’ the space and equipment. A program of this sort would be a huge bonus to our departments and to the young workforce. I am excited to take this information to our SPD leadership,” said B. Burton, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston Salem NC/RN, CNOR, staff nurse inpatient OR.

For more information about the OR Today webinar series, visit