headerProperties images

Powerful and Effective In-Servicing

All medical equipment and device manufacturers must understand that not all sterile processing departments (SPDs) are the same and require unique processes, support, and even training. Every SPD must provide some form of continuous education to ensure the knowledge and skills of the existing staff members is relevant and up to date. While departments rely heavily on the internal training program that is usually facilitated by the hospital educator, leadership teams or mentors, it is just as critical to incorporate education from supporting industry partners who can provide vital information as it pertains to their products and services. Including a variety of educational activities can enhance the skills of the staff members or introduce new ideas or new skills. Training may be delivered in a variety of applications depending on your facility structure, layout, and availability of resources.

Here are some examples of different types of education that can be offered in a healthcare education program or included in any SPD education plan.

In-Servicing 101

In-Service training may be provided through a few different applications.


1.) Classroom application- Education taking place in a dedicated workspace that allows smaller groups to work together and more closely on specific topics.

2.) Hands on demonstrations- On the job training provided in or near the work area, allowing team members to take part in the education and complete hands-on examples and demonstrations.

3.) Presentations- utilizing visual aids and presentations, such as videos or media, to demonstrate the in-service being provided.


When selecting an in-service topic there are a few things to consider; is the content mandatory, or does it need to be documented? This is one of the first things to consider when creating your in-service schedule or education program. There are many topics that require training for the staff members to function properly in their roles and complete their duties safely and effectively. Examples are annual training topics such as ETO exposure and bloodborne pathogens. For this type of training, we usually see classroom applications or presentation software, media video clips or computer assisted information. since it is quite difficult to train with hands on demonstration, as well as the annual training requirement. Another thing to consider when selecting your topic of choice, is the relationship between the topic and relevant standards, regulations, or guidelines. How important is the topic to your facility and should it be made a priority during the facilitation of the education program.


If you are trying to determine useful and relevant training topics for your team, why not just ask them? One of the easiest ways to learn what your team needs is through a communication portal, communication board or a survey. Each education program should take into consideration the following 3 aspects to ensure the best response and outcomes.


  • What does your team absolutely NEED to know to complete their job?
  • What does your team WANT to know, or feel they need more support on?
  • What does your team REQUIRE to be successful, with the day-to-day operations and safety of the unit?


10 Best Practices

There are some practices that you can consider when performing an in-service for your customers or healthcare departments. Let’s look at what those best practices are, below.


Define the desired learning objective/objectives.

  • Share with the team what you want them to learn and set expectations.
  • What are the key points you want the participants to learn.


Set aside adequate and appropriate time for the objectives you are teaching.

  • Did you schedule a meeting right after or do you have 3 other locations to visit that same day?
  • Make sure the information is not rushed and you are not distracted while teaching.


Determine the format and method of delivery.

  • What approach and application will provide the best learning experience
  • What will ensure the training objectives are met.


Schedule delivery in the right place, right location, right time.

  • Try not to disrupt normal operations and understand that the SPD is very busy and might need to relocate the training or chose a different time.
  • Be open to the need to potentially reschedule and return later or date.


Prepare your materials and documentation ahead of time.

  • Include the use of a sign in sheet for in-servicing to ensure there is a documented record of the training you perform.
  • Provide handouts, checklists, or competency quizzes if the content is difficult, or to gain perspective on whether the information is being received and understood.


Adhere to policies, procedures, and best practices.

  • Never deviate from department or facility protocols and take into consideration the hospital policies and procedures when providing the training.


Prepare yourself with confidence.

  • Be a confident presenter and always stay professional when providing education and training. Showcase your knowledge and experiences to the audience to engage them and make the experience more relatable and memorable.


Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Practice makes perfect when it comes to presenting complex information.
  • Make sure you prepare your education ahead of time and be prepared to answer questions as they come up.


Create a cadence if necessary.

  • Some topics may require a follow-up or repeat presentation due to the nature or complexity of the information. Be sure to schedule your next session as soon as possible and work with the team to lock it in so it’s not forgotten.