Sterile Processing (SP) professionals can take numerous steps in their career journey—from becoming certified, serving as a mentor, scaling the rungs of the professional ladder to embrace leadership opportunities, and committing to continuing education and other approaches that can help set them apart within the discipline. Attaining Fellowship (FCS) status through the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) is another worthy pursuit, and it’s an honorable distinction being earned by a growing number of professionals in recent years.
Many disciplines have Fellowship programs. For each, earning Fellowship status conveys one’s commitment to excellence and professional development. IAHCSMM Fellowship helps demonstrate one’s knowledge, dedication and professional advancement in the SP discipline by fulfilling a series of Fellowship requirements that includes an initial application and reference process and the submission of an original research paper topic and proposed outline; the completion of a detailed, well-researched paper on a topic pertinent to the profession; and (following the acceptance of the research paper) an interview with Fellowship committee members.
“The Fellowship process is, by design, challenging but it’s also very rewarding. When a person becomes an IAHCSMM Fellow, they have done the hard work necessary to achieve this elevated and honorable status,” explains Natalie Lind, CRCST, CHL, FCS, IAHCSMM’s Education Director and Fellowship Committee member. “Fellowship isn’t for everyone, and it is not something that all applicants will achieve, but that’s precisely what makes attaining Fellowship status so special and worth the work.”
Prior to 2021, there were only 25 IAHCSMM Fellows, but that number recently grew by four, (and more candidates are currently in various stages of the Fellowship process). This year’s four new Fellows submitted excellent research papers, each covering unique and timely topics that underscored the authors’ personal experiences and perspectives through thoughtful content and hard data. The research papers will be posted online in their entirety in early 2022 at https://www.iahcsmm.org/education/fellowship.html#CurrentFellows. Abbreviated versions of each paper will also be published in IAHCSMM’s PROCESS magazine throughout 2022, beginning with the January/February issue.