In 1966, the indomitable genius of Walt Disney forever seared the words of a catchy folk tune into a nation's imagination. The phrase was simple, yet profoundly in tune with human experience. Brotherhood of man, world peace, nationality, locality -- all rolled up into six words and one water-themed amusement park ride. . .
"It's A Small World (After All)..."
It really is. Anyone who has ever run into an old friend in a busy airport terminal in a random city across the country knows the feeling of a world shrinking down to size. And our corner of the universe in Sterile Processing is no different. Many of us know each other from "the old days" when we were elbow to elbow in the same decontam, trying our best to keep up with a growing pile of flexible scopes needing to be hand-washed. Or we've run into each other at annual conferences for AORN, IAHCSMM, or user conferences for instrument tracking programs. Or maybe we're just faces and names, but we're faces and names that often ring a bell. Folks like the Bob Marrs and Ray Taurasi's of the world, who always seem to be involved in the big conversations of our industry -- whether it's in magazine articles, AAMI work groups, or conference speaking engagements. And there's many more out there who probably come to mind.
So We Know Each Other, So What?
The natural network that is developed in an industry as specialized as ours is one thing. We catch up on a regular basis, some of us email, others call, with the conversations usually focused on a more local level -- dealing with things like the sharing of best practices, navigating staffing challenges, and coordinating educational opportunities (all of which are good things). But there's one topic that is conspicuously absent from much of the current networking occurring in the Sterile Processing field -- especially at the industry level. Let's call that missing link in our networking chain: product advocacy.