The Great Pity of the Sterile Processing Pizza Party: Recognition Drowned in Marinara Sauce



I've got nothing against pizza. Believe me. I'd push a grandma out of the way if she were holding up the line for some buffalo ranch chicken pizza.


So trust me when I say, this is not some kind of veiled attack against a menu choice. Instead, it's a frontal assault against lazy leadership, uncreative administrators, and an industry in need of real celebration and recognition.


Great Job: Cheese or Pepperoni?


Over my career as a sterile processing technician and department leader, I experienced some awesome examples of departments and individuals going above and beyond the status quo. I've seen technicians pull 16 hour shifts to ensure we had adequate transplant instruments ready to go for multiple liver transplants in one night. I've witnessed SPD teams pulling together to help that one technician study who had taken and failed their certification exam four times previously. I've watched as vacation requests and preferred schedules were given up because critical equipment had broken down in the department, but surgeries were still scheduled for the following morning.


These are not small things. They are big sacrifices from professionals who understand their role as the last line of defense for defenseless patients in their care. But how do we reward them? How do we come up alongside them and show how much we value their tremendous and sacrificial contributions to our hospital's mission for safe surgical care?


Far too many times our department leaders, administrators, and facilities take the easy way out: 1-800-44PIZZA. And there is perhaps no greater example of thinking "inside the box" than this. It needs to stop.


Beyond the Box: Other Ideas with Real Value