“Having SPT interns in the operating room brings the patient to the forefront,” added Thompson. “They’re not just seeing metal instruments. They’re seeing a patient now. You can tell someone, ‘this could be your mom,’ or ‘this could be you on that table,’ but until you are actually in the room, seeing that patient and seeing those instruments in action, there’s a disconnect. With this program, we’re able to provide that missing piece.”
Career opportunities, advancement
The University of Kansas Health System interns also observe and benefit from a broad range of career opportunities stemming from a foundation in SPT. “Everyone gets to see every role and know that there are opportunities for advancement,” said Stampfel.
To date, more than 100 SPT interns have completed The University of Kansas Health System program, with many staying on to work at The University of Kansas Health System.
Since completing The University of Kansas Health System internship in 2021, Stampfel says his career “has evolved in amazing ways.” He started out as a third-shift SPT where he learned multiple roles, and later became a supervisor. He then was promoted to second shift to lead a large team, and most recently, to a first-shift leadership position.
Thompson says SPTs are the “stage crew” behind a hospital’s performance.
SPTs: ‘The linchpins that keep everything flowing’
“At the end of the day, I’ve been told numerous times that we can make or break a surgery without ever setting foot into the operating room,” Thompson continued.
“You go to a stage production, and it’s amazing, but you don’t see the backstage crew trying to get everything set up as best as they can,” said Thompson. “You don’t see sterile processing. We have to make sure that our instruments are clean and amazingly put together and organized in a way that we can sterilize them.”
“We know we’re good,” said Thompson. “We’re one of the linchpins that keep everything flowing.”
Medline is the The University of Kansas Health System’s prime vendor supplier, exclusively distributing an extensive portfolio of essential medical supplies and solutions across the health system’s hospitals.
Medline supports and provides ongoing sterile processing department education. Learn more about our dedicated Sterile Processing resource center at Medline University.
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