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Mission: Possible

Every day in hospitals across the globe there is a secret mission taking place. Small groups of highly trained experts are assembled in hospital basements and corner departments behind closed doors to put an end to hospital acquired infections, using their talents and skills to save the world from dangerous weapons of mass microbial destruction. While some may call them sterile processing or central service technicians, they are actually sterilization secret agents tasked with targeting any foreign bodies or infectious agents that would seek to do their patients harm. With specialized chemical weaponry and high-tech cleaning gadgets, these healthcare heroes specialize in spying out bioburden and sterilizing bacterial bad guys before it’s too late.

Every sterile processing professional understands the difficulty and dangers inherent in fighting dirty on the frontlines of surgical instrument reprocessing. The hours are long, the pay is challenging, and recognition is often hard to come by. We get up early and stay up late so our patients don’t have to think twice about the safety of their surgeries. But we also know there are certain challenges that come our way that take special focus and commitment to overcome. These are the untold stories of sterile processing, the undercover reality of those brave souls hidden behind layers of PPE and passion.

To honor the hard work of these countless Secret Agents of Sterilization across the country, Ultra Clean Systems, Inc. is sponsoring the 2018 Mission: Possible event this fall to give away three attendance scholarships to the 2019 International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) Conference & Expo being hosted in Anaheim, California, on April 27–May 1. The grand prize winner will also receive $500 in expense assistance. All three will receive a one-year paid IAHCSMM membership.

For the 2018 Mission: Possible challenge, Ultra Clean Systems, Inc. wants to hear your untold stories and read about how you or your department confronted your own sterile processing challenges, accepted the difficult mission of safe surgery, and used your expertise to make the impossible possible for your hospital and patients. Submissions must be between 200 and 500 words. The deadline to enter is October 11 at 11:59 p.m. Click here to enter.

This is your opportunity to bring you and your lifesaving team out from the shadows of sterilization secrecy to receive the kind of glory and recognition that healthcare heroes truly deserve. For the three winning submissions, conference registration to one of the largest gatherings of sterile processing professionals in the world will be provided, which includes days of high-caliber training and networking in the latest skills of cleaning and infection control counterintelligence.

Ultimately, all of us in the sterile processing industry have been drafted into service and accepted the seemingly impossible mission of stopping every single infectious microbe dead in its tracks. Not only are we decontamination fixers, but we are functionality code-breakers, ensuring that every precious package reaches our patients free from any potential of destructive harm. We are bioburden bomb squads, defusing biofilm before its explosive power can reach those we have committed to defend.

We are SPD. This is our moment and our Mission: Possible.

Feature articles exclusively for Ultra Clean Systems by Weston “Hank” Balch, BS, MDiv, CRCST, CER, CIS, CHL

Weapon of Mass Microbial Destruction * Professional Clean Freak * Podcast Host * Safety Addict * CS/SPD Consultant

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