CEUs for Sterile Processing: Benefits and Free Courses
The field of sterile processing is becoming increasingly complex – a shift that’s driven by advances in surgical instrument designs and medical procedures. This means that sterile processing professionals who first entered the field five or more years ago may have had a very different training experience than those who are currently being certified.
For this reason, sterile processing technicians and supervisors are required to complete continuing education units (CEUs) to stay informed on the latest industry tools, techniques and research. CEUs in the sterile processing world can be obtained in a few ways, including:
- Free sterile processing educational courses or programs
- College courses
- Digital lesson plans
- On-demand videos
- Webinar attendance
- Publishing or presenting content related to the SPD field
CEU requirements are common across health care and can vary depending on an individual’s role, work schedule and certifications. For example, sterile processing supervisors and managers typically require more CEU credits annually than SPD technicians, surgical instrument specialists and flexible endoscope reprocessors.
While it may feel frustrating to be required to receive additional education following a hard-earned certification, completing CEUs comes with benefits. Here, we’ll look at the positives of CEU programs, requirements for different sterile processing certifications and free online courses for sterile processing professionals.
Why are CEUs for sterile processing important?
CEU credits for SPD roles help technicians and supervisors continue to refine their skills and improve their performance at work. Continuing education often makes their jobs easier while providing them with additional confidence that they’re working in a way that’s best for their department, facility and patients.
First and foremost, CEUs are required for maintaining all certifications related to sterile processing within a health care facility. CEU requirements vary by the type of certification and the organization through which it’s offered.
Most sterile processing professionals are certified by either the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) or the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD). CEU requirements for HSPA certifications include:
- Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST): 12 CEUs per year
- Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS): Current CRCST status plus an additional six CEUs per year
- Certified Endoscope Reprocessor (CER): Six CEUs per year
- Certified Healthcare Leader (CHL): Current CRCST status plus an additional six CEUs per year
Conversely, CEU requirements for CBSPD certifications are based on a five-year cycle as follows:
- Certified Technician (CSPDT): 100 CEUs per five years
- Certified Ambulatory Surgery Technician (CASSPT): 100 CEUs per five years
- Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER): 100 CEUs per five years
- Certified Surgical Instrument Processor/Specialist (CSIS): 100 CEUs per five years
- Certified Supervisor (CSPDS), Manager (CSPDM) or Management (CSPM): 150 CEUs per five years
CEU courses and programs must be related to the SPD professional’s specific certification and line of work to contribute toward recertification.
Staying up to date
New technology is revolutionizing sterile processing as we know it, making it easier than ever to increase efficiency in SPDs, foster better communication with operating rooms and vendors, and improve patient care. Digital solutions such as surgical instrument tracking software, loaner tray management systems and tools to manage flexible endoscope reprocessing come with a host of benefits for all SPD roles that offer a glimpse into the field’s future.
Staying up to date on the latest solutions and cleaning protocols through CEU courses help sterile processing professionals know they’re using the best technologies and methods available.
Improved patient care
Beyond professional development for SPD professionals, the goal of CEU programs is to improve patient care quality and outcomes. Keeping up with the industry’s latest best practices helps facilities ensure all patients have access to the safest sterile instrumentation and low surgery-related infection risks.
Personal and professional growth
Continued learning is good for both a person’s career and personal life, as it helps open new doors, uncover the aspects of their job they find most interesting and grow on a personal level.
Free CEU options for sterile processing professionals
Free online CEU courses for sterile processing offer an easy way to earn credits and gain invaluable job-related information. Censis offers free, industry-certified CEU programs in multiple formats to help sterile processing professionals stay up to date using the learning method that works best for them.
For SPD technicians, reprocessors and specialists
From COVID-19’s impact on the sterile processing field to how to optimize department data, Censis’s library of on-demand CEU courses covers topics that apply to all aspects of sterile processing, whether you’re a flexible endoscope reprocessor, certified technician or surgical instrument processor.
For SPD supervisors and management
Recognizing that supervisors play a unique role within SPDs, Censis also offers a two-day course focused on learning and practicing new skills within its CensiTrac surgical instrument tracking solution. Each participant receives 12 free sterile processing CEU credits.
For more information on free CEU courses for sterile processing, visit our continuing education programs page.
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