The following is a summary of “Improving mastery and retention of knowledge and complex skills among sterile processing professionals: A pilot study on borescope training and competency testing,” published in the June 2023 issue of Infection Control by Ofstead et al.
The trend in health care is toward minimally invasive procedures requiring increasingly sophisticated instruments and processing technologies. To ensure that sterile processing professionals acquire and maintain essential skills, it is necessary to implement efficient training methods. This research aimed to create and evaluate a new training model that facilitates mastering and retaining complex vital skills.
The model was pilot-tested with endoscope visual inspection-focused training. To enhance learning, pre-and post-tests were administered before and after a face-to-face workshop that interspersed lectures and hands-on practice with structured assignments and an online booster session. Surveys assessed levels of satisfaction and confidence. Following the workshop, the mean test scores of nine certified sterile processing employees increased considerably (41% vs. 84%, P<.001). After the workshop, all participants identified visible defects on endoscopes that were suitable for use on patients in their respective facilities.
The trainees’ test scores remained high after two months (90%), and their technical confidence and contentment levels increased following training. This study demonstrated the efficacy and clinical relevance of a new, evidence-based training model for sterile processing professionals that included pre-testing, lectures, hands-on practice, a training supplement, and post-testing to improve learning. This model may apply to additional complex patient safety and infection prevention skills.