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Fairfield Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that the Laura Witherspoon, CRCST, CIS, has recently become a Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS).  It has been widely recognized that obtaining professional certification status is one of the most important steps Central Sterile professionals can take toward advancing their careers and driving quality within their departments.  Through this certification, Central Service professionals are privy to the latest technology, industry standards and processing practices.

"It’s a decision that no doubt makes good sense given that technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. I believe it is essential that our Central Sterile staff have the knowledge, skills and training to provide consistent, reliable and quality-focused service. Becoming certified makes our Central Sterile professionals privy to the latest technology, industry standards and processing practices.  Therefore, certification is perhaps the most direct route toward helping our technicians reach that goal,” state Kathleen Heltsley, RN, CNOR, FMH Director of Surgical Services.

In order to become CIS certified, Laura was required take a Certified Instrument Specialist (CIS) exam, which tests knowledge and recognition of medical instruments, as well as reviews instrumentation practice skills. In addition, Laura was required to have a current Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) status and minimum 200 hours of hands on experience in instrument decontamination, assembly information system management and surgery observation.  Laura’s self-study course was provided by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM).  IAHCSMM offers professional certification programs that are recognized by the healthcare industry for their quality and comprehensiveness. 

“As a CIS, I assist the medical staff and nursing personnel in the location and gathering of needed instrumentation, supplies and equipment. I also assist in the decontamination and assembly of instrumentation and supplies for sterilization.  I have always known Central Sterile is a vital part of my hospital; therefore, I take my role in enhancing quality of care very seriously, and that is why I became certified,” stated Laura Witherspoon, RN, CRCST, CIS.

“Many times patients are unaware of the professional who provides the sterile environment contributing the successful recovery after surgery.  This is why we want to recognize Laura’s certification in Central Sterile Processing because it confirms her knowledge and highlights the expertise she brings to Fairfield Memorial Hospital,” stated Kathleen Heltsley, RN, CNOR, FMH Director of Surgical Services.

Pictured is Laura Witherspoon, CRCST, CIS, Surgical Technician at Fairfield Memorial Hospital.


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