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PRESS RELEASE: Beyond Clean Publishes Landmark Study on Sterile Processing Education & Career Growth

Cover graphic with the title of the article


Beyond Clean Unveils Landmark Study on Sterile Processing Education & Career Growth

LANCASTER, PA - JULY 14, 2023 - Beyond Clean, a clinical education and advocacy group in the Sterile Processing space, and a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced the results of a pivotal study today in the esteemed "Perioperative Care and Operating Room Management" journal. The research breaks new ground in examining the career trajectories, educational opportunities, and workforce challenges within the crucial, but often underestimated, medical device reprocessing industry.

The results challenge traditional beliefs, illustrating that formal training or certifications do not necessarily equate to career advancement. It also revealed that further education or certification, which could potentially enhance sterile processing quality, is often not financially or career-incentivized. Despite this, the research highlighted the self-directed learning ethos that permeates the sector, pointing to a workforce that is innately resourceful and self-motivated.

Dr. Peter Nichol, a leading researcher involved in authoring the study, commented on the findings, "The results give us a new perspective on how we view and value education and certification in the Sterile Processing profession. It's time to acknowledge the dedication and self-motivated learning exhibited by these professionals in the absence of formal education and incentives."

Hank Balch, President of Beyond Clean, spoke to the broader industry implications. "This study is a wake-up call to our industry as it challenges previously held beliefs about how we view ourselves in the clinical ladder and what it will take to raise our teams higher in both recognition and advancement opportunities. The data is telling us that many of the decades-old assumptions held about Sterile Processing career growth, may not be the case after all."

Researcher and study author Laura Bellaire emphasized the impact of these findings on the workforce. "Our study showcases a workforce that is resourceful and self-driven – but they need help. To further support these indispensable professionals, it is incumbent upon the broader healthcare industry to establish formal, incentivized education pathways that will open up new opportunities for them."

Justin Poulin, CEO of Beyond Clean, drew attention to the staffing issues within the field. "This research not only identifies gaps and opportunities in our space, but it also highlights the systemic staffing challenges in the industry today. Addressing these head-on is not only a matter of improving quality, but also a way of boosting wages and retaining talent for the long term."

The research team hopes this study (which is the first of many) sparks necessary changes to enhance the professional development, wages, and overall efficacy of Sterile Processing professionals and services around the US and across the globe.

About Beyond Clean

Beyond Clean is the leading clinical education and networking organization within the Sterile Processing industry, dedicated to driving frontline engagement through creative educational opportunities, digital resources, and collaborative partnerships across the space. Its mission is to revolutionize industry standards by empowering sterile processing professionals through education, recognition, and support.

Press Contacts:

Hank Balch

Beyond Clean

Peter Nichol

University of Wisconsin



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