Sep 17, 2020 | Sterile Processing Best Practice

The Importance of IAHCSMM Certification as a Central Sterile Professional

Continuous improvement in the medical field means that processes, instruments, and standards are constantly changing. As a central sterile professional, these changes impact your daily work, requiring you to shift and adapt to make sure you’re meeting new standards and regulations. One way you can stay ahead of the curve is through IAHCSMM certification.

Now, you might be thinking, “Do I really need IAHCSMM certification?”

The short answer? Yes. The long answer? Even though you might never interact personally with patients, the work you do every day impacts them. Any mistake that you make in the SPD can filter through to the patient, leading to negative outcomes. Similarly, when you update processes according to new regulations, your work also impacts patients by helping create more positive outcomes.

But if you’re not up to date on what’s going on in your field, then you won’t be prepared for what’s needed to avoid those mistakes and push toward positive outcomes. IAHCSMM certification can help.

Getting Started with Certification

Because the SPD is made up of so many different types of technicians with varying levels of interest in the specific responsibilities of the department, IAHCSMM offers a variety of certifications to reflect those interests. You can choose from the following:

  • CRCST—If you don’t have any certifications, this is the perfect place to start to show that you’ve mastered the basics of central sterile processing.
  • CIS—This certification is for those who consider themselves advanced instrument specialists, able to keep up with ongoing standard and technology updates.
  • CER—Love endoscopes? This one’s for you! This certification shows that you’ve mastered the intricate and unique reprocessing required for endoscopes.
  • CHL—Every department needs a leader. If you’re the leader (or aspiring to be!), this certification attests to your leadership capabilities in the SPD.

BONUS: IAHCSMM even offers certification for vendors to complete! As you evaluate your own vendor relationships, look for ones with this certification; it shows that they have mastered an understanding of the processes and needs unique to the SPD.

Obtaining Your IAHCSMM Certification

Once you’ve identified the certification you want to pursue, all that’s left to do is check your eligibility in the IAHCSMM Certification Handbook and then apply for the certification examination. Once approved, you’ll take the test via a computer at a Prometric Testing Center of your choice. You’ll get three hours to complete the examination consisting of 150 questions. To help you prepare ahead of time, IAHCSMM has shared several ways in which you can study and refresh your knowledge to make sure you ace it.

Should you fail the examination, you can expect a report to be mailed to you within a week, along with details on how you can retake the examination. When you do pass the certification examination, you’ll get a packet of information mailed to you within two weeks, filled with everything you need to know about maintaining your certification.

Ready to Get Started?

Visit IAHCSMM’s certification website to explore the options and get on your way to staying informed and up-to-date on best practices, regulations, and new technology available to SPDs.