In today’s modern hospital setting, patients should never wonder whether the medical instruments used in their treatment are clean and sterilized.
Surgical patients at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital (SNLH) can be even more assured because Garland Hill, ST, who assists in managing the hospital’s sterile processing department, has achieved the highest possible certification level attesting to his skill and knowledge. Hill is one of just 108 sterile processing professionals—out of close to 30,000 in the world—to earn Golden Crown Certification by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management.
“This is a significant achievement for Gar, which reflects positively on our hospital and health system,” said Kathy Skipper, RN, SNLH Vice President of Patient Services. “We are so proud of him and pleased that he chose to join our team.”
Hill has been employed at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital since September 2017, and has 30 years of combined experience as a surgical technologist and sterile processing professional. As a Golden Crown certificant, Hill is a surgical technologist who is certified as a registered central service technician (CRCST), endoscope reprocessor (CER), healthcare leader (CHL) and instrument specialist (CIS).
So, what is sterile processing and why does it matter? Through the 1940s, most medical and surgical supplies were cleaned, decontaminated and stored within the departments in which they were used. This led to duplication of effort, duplication of equipment and inconsistent standards for sterilization. Since then, hospitals have uniformly moved toward having separate and distinct centralized sterile processing departments, which help to improve efficiency, economy and patient safety.
“I truly care about people, and taking care of people,” Hill said about his devotion to his chosen career. “With the ongoing advancement of surgical instrumentation, one must continuously take advantage of all educational and additional certification opportunities to provide the highest quality of care for our patients. I learn something new every day. I want patients and their families to feel safe when they come to SNLH for any procedure or surgery.”