Ensuring Patient Safety is at the Heart of Surgery Certifications

Ensuring Patient Safety is at the Heart of Surgery Certifications

Thursday, July 27, 2023

“To do my best for patient safety is my motivation. What I do is behind the scenes, but it is very important,” Theresa Holley, CRCST, CER, MA, CNA said. “If the surgeon doesn’t have the right, properly prepared instruments, they can’t do surgery. That’s where I come in.”

Holley is the only staff member at Gothenburg Health to become a Certified Endoscopic Reprocessor (CER), which she received in December 2022. She also became a Certified Registered Central Service Tech (CRCST) in August, 2022 and plans to take the test to become a Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) when the test becomes available.

The process of certification consists of studying online or from a book before taking a test, Holley said. She was part of one of the first groups to take the course and test under the new regulations. With a smile, she added that she passed the test on the first try.

“I wanted to receive these certifications to provide the best care and process for patient safety. I can make sure that things are cleaned properly, provide inspections to the scope or instruments for damage, and follow the protocols that ensure there isn’t contamination,” she said.

Holley started her career at Gothenburg Health in May of 2001. She said, “I love my job. I’ve always liked caring for people. I enjoy surgery because I am learning something new every day.”

As a CER and CRCST, Holley can determine whether instruments need to be sterile or have a high level of disinfectant. Additionally, if there is a leak in a scope, she is trained in the extensive procedure to high level disinfect the scope prior to sending back to the company to be repaired.

With the new regulations in place, Holley said more staff members will be required to get these certifications for safety reason.