Three Wonderful Ways Not to Waste Your Friday: A Sterile Processing Week'enders Handbook

Few things stressed me out more as a new Sterile Processing leader than walking out of the department on a Friday evening. 

Unlike your friendly neighborhood office building, most of us don't have the luxury of closing the SPD door at 5pm on Friday. Instead, we take all the department leaders away -- not only from the SPD, but often from the OR, as well as the rest of the hospital -- and keep the factory churning. A sprinkling of supervisors, scant managers, and nary a director to be found. The only folks who are left are the few, the proud, ... the weekend warriors

Whether you are one of those brave, indispensable souls who man the ship on the weekends, or one of the anxious captains who need a little peace of mind before you leave the helm for 48-hours of autopilot, here are three wonderful ways not to waste your Friday that can help ensure your weekends go off without a hitch.

1) Summon Your Inner Boy Scout: Be Prepared

While you don't have to wait until Friday to start prepping for the weekend, if you haven't done it already -- now's the time! If you're the department leader, take a moment today to review the weekend schedule. Does everyone on the schedule know how to solve every problem that may arise over the next two days? Since the answer to that is most likely "No," do you have phone numbers posted for those off-the-wall questions that only seem to come up at 2am on Sunday mornings? Don't wait until you get one of those Monday morning "Safety Event" emails summoning you to the Quality/Risk department before you get a backup plan in place for one-off surprises. If you're a tech scheduled for the weekend, find out who is working with you and make sure they don't have any competency related questions that should be answered prior to being alone on the processing floor. You've got a department full of leaders on Friday. Make it count.