Day in the life: Central Sterile Processing Technician
Instrument sterilization is a vital step in any surgical procedure, but you may not always think about what goes into the process – or who’s doing it. At Northwell, we know our sterile processing technicians are invaluable members of our operating rooms. These technicians handle the sterilization of our instruments from decontamination to dispatch all inside our new centralized facility in Bethpage, NY. Working in the world’s largest sterile processing center, our technicians provide around-the-clock services using the most innovative technology available.
“Our new central sterile processing facility was built with the comfort of our sterile processing technicians in mind,” says Marc MacLaren, RN, BSN, MSN, program director of System Sterile Operations. “As we continue to grow and refine our procedures, we listen to their feedback. The work our technicians do every day is changing the way people look at sterile processing and defining the future of where the industry is going.”
Follow a day in the life of some of our sterile processing technicians at our new state-of-the-art central sterile processing facility in Bethpage.
Step 1: Surgical instruments are brought in for the decontamination team
The first step of sterilization is decontamination. With the facility servicing operating rooms from hospitals all across Northwell, it’s important for our central sterile processing technicians in the decontamination room to handle each delivery promptly and efficiently. The technicians soak the trays as they come in, hand washing them before placing them on the cart to go through the automated sterilized washers. “I love working in decontamination because we’re one of the most vital parts of the process of sterilization,” says La’Queen Burrell, sterile processing technician.
Step 2: Instruments are unloaded and tracked through automated systems
After the instruments go through the washing cycle, a sterile processing technician unloads the clean instruments from the machine into the ‘clean room’ which is kept sterile to protect the instruments. Each tray is processed through a barcode system so it can be tracked throughout the sterilization process. “My favorite thing is how organized our team is to keep things running smoothly,” says Libin John, supervisor, central sterile. “It’s also great knowing our work is helping patients even though we don’t have a clinical degree.”
Step 3: Sterile processing technicians sort trays to create priority order
The washed trays are then sorted in priority order. And with the facility’s capacity to handle a maximum of 22 million instruments a year, our technicians know the important role keeping the trays in priority order plays in ensuring prompt delivery back to the hospitals. Caprice Morgan, lead sterile processing technician, places the trays on shelves to mark them for the proper turnaround time. “I love working as a sterile processing tech because you are always learning new things,” says Caprice. “Every day is a new opportunity to grow.”
Step 4: Instruments are counted and passed through a safety test
Once the trays are separated, the instruments are counted, inspected and placed for packing by our technicians. It’s a vital step to make sure that the instruments are not only accounted for, but properly hand-washed and still maintaining their integrity. “It’s great being able to work on the instruments and know that even though you’re not in the operating room, you still are a part of the surgery helping that patient,” says Kevin Vega, sterile processing technician.
Step 5: Team members package the instruments for sterilization
Clean instrument trays are then packaged by the technicians. Packaging the instruments keeps them safe for when they are placed into sterilizers to finish disinfection before their return to the hospitals. The work spaces in the new facility allow for plenty of room for packing the large trays and individual instruments. “At the new Bethpage facility there’s more room to work and more space for everybody” says sterile processing assistant Patty Guess, who transferred to the facility from a Northwell hospital in April.
Step 6: Instrument trays are sent into the sterilization systems
Now that the instrument trays have been packaged, they’re ready for the final step of sterilization. Sterile processing technicians track and check the trays before placing them in autoclaves (which use steam at high temperatures to sterilize) or into low temperature sterilizers (which use low temperatures and gas to ensure missing something here) depending on the needs of the instrument. “This is my favorite spot to work because it keeps me on my toes,” says Gregory Thurneau, sterile processing technician. “I did it for eight years at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and now being able to do it at the Bethpage facility gives me an opportunity to expand my horizons.”
Step 7: Technicians sort the trays for hospital dispatch
Trays are passed directly through the sterilization systems built into the wall moving them from the ‘clean room’ to dispatch. There they are prepared for delivery back to the hospital. Once the trays have been tracked and accounted for, sterile processing technicians sort them into their respective cabinets for the transport teams. “It’s an important part of making sure the hospitals are getting their trays on time,” says Thomas Varkey, sterile processing technician. “Being part of that helps me make sure the patients get the care they need when they need it.”
From neonatal staff nurse to periOperative leader: Gloria’s nursing journey at Northwell Health
When Gloria Collura, MSN, RNC, NEA-BC started her career at Northwell Health 31 years ago as a staff nurse, she didn’t know where her journey would take her.
Starting as a young nurse, Gloria transitioned to working part-time in the neonatal intensive care unit when she had her first child. But as her children grew, so did her career aspirations. And with the encouragement from her leadership, Gloria was able to focus on developing herself professionally.
“I never had to sacrifice my family or work-life balance at all in order to succeed in my career,” says Gloria. “Northwell really enabled me to grow professionally as well as personally.”
After becoming an assistant nurse manager, Gloria benefitted from Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program and earned her master’s degree. From there she became a nurse manager before moving into leadership positions in periOperative services.
Today, she’s the senior administrative director II for Patient Care Services/PeriOperative Services at the Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM). Here, she runs the ambulatory surgery center which operates on over 7,000 people a year and the PST department which sees approximately 21,000 patients a year – quite the journey from her start as a staff nurse!
The transition to become a periOperative nurse was a natural one for Gloria. “As a neonatal nurse, you are in the operating room a lot. With exposure to the OR, I was encouraged by leadership to earn my master’s and get into ambulatory surgery. Using the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in one specialty and bringing it to a new area can have great results.”
Even with all her accomplishments, Gloria knows it’s important to never stop developing her professional skills. In fact, she’s recently earned her Nurse Executive Advanced Certification – an accomplishment she never thought she would be encouraged to earn.
“At Northwell, we’re always told not to be afraid to fail,” says Gloria. “Don’t be afraid to expand your wings, don’t be afraid to be innovative, and don’t be afraid to move forward. I’ve taken leaps that I don’t think I would have taken without the support of the organization and its leaders.”
Certified Sterile Processing Apprentice Program celebrates its first graduating class
As part of our commitment to growth, development and education, Northwell Health partnered with the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the 1199 Training and Employment Funds to create a new Certified Sterile Processing Apprenticeship Program that is registered with the Federal Department of Labor (DOL).
Due to our new Certified Sterile Processing Apprenticeship Program, Northwell Health 1199 team members from various departments across the organization had an opportunity to train in a new specialty and grow their careers. Team members were provided with the education and training they needed to become a certified sterile processing technician (CST), including the support in preparing for the certified registered central service technician (CRCST) exam so they could earn their national certification. Thanks to the partnership program, Northwell was able to provide employees with paid training in addition to free tuition, books, exam prep and other classroom materials.
We’re proud to announce that all 11 of our program participants passed the exam and all received full time positions at Northwell Health.
“The apprenticeship program has opened doors for employees who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to advance in their field,” says Marc MacLaren, RN, BSN, MSN, program director of System Sterile Operations. “It allows us to ‘grow our own’ within healthcare and empowers individuals in our organization who otherwise might not be eligible for technical professional careers.”
“This program helped me achieve a goal in my career,” says Gabriel Taveras, a recent graduate. “I started as a housekeeper and now I’m a certified central sterile technician. It has changed my life.”
Students in this unique program are prepared for their career with:
200 classroom hours
400 hours of on-the-job training
600 additional on-the-job hours to earn the Federal DOL certification
Upon graduation, students earned:
LaGuardia Community College Adult Continuing Education Certificate
Federal DOL Certificate
“I was given an opportunity that will change my life for the better,” says fellow graduate Candice Thomas. “I’m grateful that Northwell and 1199 believed in me. The possibilities are endless. Because I stepped outside of my comfort zone and learned what it meant to be a CRCST, I now have a great career.”‘
Discover the PeriOperative teams on the forefront of cardiac surgery
When it comes to cardiac surgery, Northwell Health is at the forefront of innovation and exceptional care.
In fact, the Department of Health (DOH) has recently ranked Northwell Health cardiac surgery programs among the best in New York State. And exceptional cardiac care wouldn’t be possible without the hardworking nurses, advanced care providers, and surgical technologists who join surgeons in the operating room.
“Being in the cardiac operating room can be demanding but extremely rewarding. It requires a compassion for your patients and love of the operating services and Cardiology,” says Karen Cary, associate executive director at Staten Island University Hospital. “Always come ready to learn and be voracious in your thirst for knowledge.”
Learn more about some of our cardiac surgery programs across Northwell Health:
North Shore University Hospital (NSUH)
Operating room professionals looking to join the cardiac PeriOperative team at North Shore University Hospital would work alongside high-performing, talented team members who are committed to exceptional patient care. NSUH is home to the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital and has been named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for cardiac surgery in 2017 and 2018 by Healthgrades.
Featuring one of New York’s largest cardiothoracic surgery programs, the Heart Hospital has become the first and only full-service destination for heart transplantation in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, New York. The DOH report has also recognized the Heart Hospital for having the state’s best outcomes for certain types of open-heart surgery.
Staten Island University Hospital
Staten Island University’s Heart Institute is known for its cutting-edge techniques, procedures, and skilled health care professionals. The DOH has even ranked their cardiologists, interventionalists, and catheterization and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) teams in the top 5% of the nation. Growth continues within this impressive Cardiac PeriOperative Department as it works to perform a full spectrum of increasingly innovative procedures, such as the recently created TAVR program which has already seen success.
Joining the Heart Institute gives PeriOperative professionals the opportunity to work with a compassionate team with a passion for cardiac services. Close collaboration in the operating room and hospital floor ensures the absolute best care for patients and their families.
Lenox Hill Hospital
The award-winning cardiology department at Lenox Hill Hospital has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 best heart programs four years in a row. Lenox Hill is always looking for innovative ways to treat patients; innovation that has led them to performing groundbreaking procedures – such as angiograms and minimally invasive heart surgery.
At Lenox Hill, the cardiology team offers advanced cardiac services in a variety of areas, including electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, and heart failure. Nurses, advanced care providers, and surgical technologists will join the skilled PeriOperative team in a brand-new clinical area.
The growth of innovative orthopedic surgery at Northwell Health
Today’s population is seeking the benefits of early intervention orthopedic surgery like joint replacements and bone preservations resulting in an increased number of orthopedic surgeries. Northwell Health’s hospitals are growing their services to meet this demand. Growth that includes case variety, cutting-edge procedures and innovative technology.
The advantages for nurses, surgical technologists, advanced care providers and other care team members go beyond just increased experience. Orthopedic surgery is one of the only surgical specialties where you see instant results. Being able to see a visual victory immediately after the procedure and seeing patients get back to living life to the fullest is incredibly rewarding.
Join of our teams below to experience innovative orthopedic surgical care.
LIJ Valley Stream Hospital:
At LIJ Valley Stream , orthopedic teams practice both routine and general orthopedic treatments and cutting edge procedures. Orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and surgical technologists work together collaboratively to provide excellent care for their patients. Their state-of-the-art care and treatments mean more minimally invasive procedures that are giving patients the advantage of a quicker recovery and decreased hospital stays.
Some of the innovative procedures happening in the OR are:
Specific total joint replacements
Reverse total shoulder replacements
Total ankle replacements
Autologous cartilage implants
And orthopedic surgery is only growing at LIJ Valley Stream! With our partnership with the Orlin and Cohen Orthopedic Group, Northwell is significantly increasing our presence on the south shore of Nassau County and Queens.
Surgeons from Orlin & Cohen and Northwell’s Orthopedic service line work together inside our brand-new Orthopedic Hospital at LIJ Valley Stream. This 9,761-foot facility includes 18 private patient rooms, advanced ORs, and a physical therapy unit, along with advanced technology. They have received the highest rating from The Joint Commission’s Healthcare Quality Certification in knee and hip replacement surgery.
Lenox Hill Hospital:
Lenox Hill Hospital is a full service hospital performing many orthopedic procedures using robotic surgery with the Mako robot. With up to ten operating rooms dedicated to orthopedics a day, there is a large variety of cases for team members to gain experience in the operating room. Lenox Hill Hospital is currently applying for the Joint Commission renewal of their Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement, a 2 year certification that reflects the excellent care given to arthroplasty patients from hospital entry to discharge.
Some of the surgeries being performed at Lenox Hill include:
Knee total replacement
Cervical discectomy anterior with fusion
Osteoarticular transplant surgery
Northwell’s new partnership with the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute also means more opportunities for the team at Lenox Hill and Phelps Hospitals. Rothman orthopedic surgeons collaborate with Northwell physicians to deliver high-quality, orthopedic services. This close collaboration between physicians and care team members helps further Lenox Hill’s strong team atmosphere.They pride themselves on teamwork and always looking for ways to make the patient experience even better.
Long Island Jewish Medical Center:
Orthopedic surgery is a growing service at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJMC). LIJMC has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Joint Commission for the past two years and is in the process of renewing their application in 2019. Every month, dedicated LIJ Center for Joint Preservation and Restoration meetings take place to discuss and evaluate metrics in an effort to continuously improve the patient experience.
Improving the patient experience also means using state-of-the-art procedures and technology. Technology like Blue Belt Technology, which is used during total joint replacements to cut out exact measurements of the total joint to be used.
Some of these state-of-the-art procedures include:
Radical resections of mass
Proximal femur replacements
Total hip replacement direct anterior approach
Total knee replacements
Uni knee replacements
Knee stage II revision arthroplasty
Registered nurses and surgical technologists at LIJMC enjoy a collaborative experience within the Ortho team and get to broaden their operating room experience with a variety of orthopedic cases.
Are you Made for delivering orthopedic perioperative care? Apply today!
The need for students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers is greater than ever and for good reason. Between 2000 and 2010, STEM-related jobs grew three times as fast as non-STEM jobs – a rate projected to increase.
You may be left wondering what STEM jobs you can pursue. STEM careers go beyond just being a doctor or an engineer – the opportunities are endless! So what are some of the major STEM careers you should be exploring?
Imaging technologists are Allied Health professionals that complete a two or four year program from accredited college. Graduates are licensed by the NYS Department Of Health or registered or certified in a sub-specialty area to perform diagnostic imaging examinations. Using the most advanced imaging equipment, imaging professionals are trained to produce high-quality images that enable the Radiologist (physician) to make a critical diagnosis. Without their expertise, care teams wouldn’t be able to diagnose and treat patients effectively.
You can enjoy the flexibility to choose additional specializations such as computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, nuclear medicine, mammography and more. And as an imaging professional, you’d have the ability to work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, diagnostic labs, and ambulatory centers.
Careers to consider:
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Special Procedures Technologist
2. Certified Surgical Technologist
Surgical technologists have the important task of prepping patients for surgery and ensuring the operating room’s equipment has been sterilized and properly stocked with supplies. Your job as a surgical technologist doesn’t end there – you’d remain in the OR to assist surgeons throughout the surgery and then help to dress wounds. At Northwell, Registered Nurses and the Certified Surgical Technologist function as a subunit within a team, interacting through a unique, dynamic relationship—one sterile role and one nonsterile role, working in collaboration.
Job opportunities for surgical technologists are on the rise as the growth in population and technology leads to an increase in the frequency of surgical procedures. Completing a surgical technologist certification program usually takes around two years, allowing you the unique chance to quickly scrub into your first surgery after school.
Becoming a doctor or nurse isn’t the only option for science majors to join the healthcare industry! Research careers enable professionals to work in programs and partnerships that help study, test and improve clinical breakthroughs. Medical research also includes working on some of the most exciting technology to treat disease and injury, such as Bioelectronic Medicine (BEM). Not all research careers are clinical either – as a medical researcher you can work in engineering, statistics, and more.
Join together research and technology as part of a team working on cutting-edge discoveries in areas such as health outcomes research, translational science, behavioral science and more. As a member of the research team, you’d also have the ability to work on breakthroughs in major diseases from cancer to lupus to sepsis. Your work could help discover new treatments, therapies and technologies for patients to live a healthier life.
Careers to consider:
Associate Research Statistician
Post Doc Research Trainees
4. Telemetry Technicians
Telemetry technicians, also called monitoring technicians or electrocardiograph technicians (EKG or ECG), are important allied health professionals. These technicians use non-invasive electrocardiographic equipment to monitor patients’ heart rhythms and alert nurses and physicians to changes in the patient’s rate, rhythm and the occurrence of dysrhythmias while on the Telemetry Unit.
Working as a telemetry technician allows you to work within a hospital using advanced technology. There are also increasing opportunities for you to deliver compassionate care to patients within a hospital or ambulatory setting. And training programs prepare you for entering the healthcare industry in just a few months!
5. Clinical Laboratory Scientist
To become a clinical laboratory scientist you must obtain your bachelor’s degree from an accredited clinical laboratory science program, pass your ASCP national certification exam and then become licensed by New York State Education Department (NYSED) to practice. As a clinical laboratory scientist, you can work in exciting fields such as:
Fun fact, Northwell has two brand new, state-of-the-art labs. Our Core Lab/Automated Lab is the largest health system-based lab in the region with the largest Roche automated line of its kind in North America, and one of the largest in the world. Our new Microbiology Lab that has the largest Kiestra Micro automated line in the U.S!
Here’s how Sypria Bernard, MSN, RN, CNOR, went from surgical technologist to registered nurse at Northwell Health
Surgical technologists have the unique opportunity to work with a nurse inside the operating room (OR) which can lead them to a career change like it did for Sypria Bernard, MSN, RN, CNOR. “Although I loved my career as a surgical technologist, there was that spark of ambition in me that always wanted to become a nurse.” With a passion for the OR guiding her, Sypria decided to become a registered nurse and North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) was there to lend support.
Through the help of Northwell’s tuition reimbursement program*, team members like Sypria can go back to school to continue their education and progress into fields such as nursing with financial assistance. Sypria did just that and NSUH worked with her and other surgical technologists who are seeking to become RNs to help develop their skills and grow professionally. The surgical technologist program at NSUH doesn’t just prepare surgical technologists for the opportunity to go into a nursing role, it also fosters their growth in their current roles. Sypria appreciated this dual approach to her career transition, “I became proficient in sterile technique, instrumentation, and procedures and I used my expertise as a surgical technologist to enable my smooth transition into OR nursing.”
After their training, surgical techs-turned-RNs can receive additional support by NSUH through an operating room fellowship. This fellowship builds on their skills to help develop well-rounded OR nurses. The support of NSUH helped Sypria get to where she is today, “I currently hold a position as a nurse manager in the Neurosurgery OR and just completed my master’s in nursing leadership. Without the support of Northwell and NSUH this would not have been possible.”
MEETH the team at Manhattan Eye, Ear, & Throat Hospital revolutionizing perioperative ambulatory care
Throughout 2018, Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital (MEETH) worked hard to increase the efficiency and quality of care in our ambulatory OR in New York City.
As part of this effort, MEETH had the exciting addition of robotic surgery in November, making us the first Northwell Health ambulatory center to perform robotic surgery. The program launched with Robotic Assisted Hernia Repair and Robotic Assisted Cholecystectomy cases to great success. The addition of robotic cases within MEETH empowers our team to deliver state of the art and highest quality care to our patients.
By allowing surgeons greater precision, dexterity, control, and visualization, robotics have proven to contribute to less post-operative pain and discomfort, minimal scarring and improved patient recover times. The OR team here at MEETH is very excited and proud to be able to offer this great service to our patients!
The OR Team at MEETH has also started doing ambulatory Total Shoulder Replacement Cases. We’ve also increased our ENT, GU, General Surgery, and GYN case volume to help better serve patients. This increase in volume has come along with a steady increase of our on time start times for the first cases of the day – with a 10% improvement over 2017.
Our collaborative care council has been revitalized to help improve our work environment with collaborative feedback from our team. Employees also participated in the MEETH Career Day Panel which helped introduce high school students to different healthcare opportunities and help excite them about joining the industry.
Not to mention, there’s always something to celebrate! One of our surgical technicians presented in-service focusing on the history of surgical technologists and the proud moments from MEETH during Surgical Technologist Week. In celebration of Perioperative Nurses Week, MEETH hosted our very own fashion show in which the staff created designs from unused OR supplies. During the holiday season, we hosted an International Holiday Breakfast/Lunch during which our team could bring in and share their traditional food to celebrate our diverse heritages.
For our latest Inside Northwell Facebook Live event, we visited Lenox Hill Hospital to talk with the team in the operating room. Working in the operating room takes dedication and passion, especially in the city that never sleeps. We sat down with Eleonora Shapiro, DNP, MHA, CNOR, BC-NEA (Associate Executive Director of PeriOp), Nelly Arceyut (Registered Nurse), Donald Frederick (Surgical Technologist), and Jamaica Malang (Registered Nurse) from Lenox Hill to hear their career advice and why they being a part of the OR. And don’t miss the live tour of Lenox Hill’s OR from Eleonora following the panel! Check it out by watching the video below.
Meet the ‘Unsung Heroes’ of the Northwell Health Surgical Team
When it comes to a major medical procedure, everyone involved is a crucial component in making sure the surgery is a success. Sure, the doctors and nurses are often the figureheads of these difficult procedures, but within the PeriOperative field, Sterile Processing Technicians are often the “unsung heroes” who deliver key support before, during and after surgical procedures.
“People see surgical instruments on television shows and never see the meticulous process requiring a number of hours to complete best practices in reprocessing of instrumentation to ensure all of our patients are receiving the utmost quality of sterilized instrumentation,” says Marc MacLaren, RN, BSN, MSN, Program Director of System Sterile Operations, “Each Sterile Processing Technician at Northwell Health works every day as if it was their loved one, or themselves, requiring medical attention needing sterile instrumentation.”
And if you’re looking for your next great opportunity with Northwell Health, here’s why you should care.
Never a dull moment. Kevin L. Witcher, Director of Central Sterile Processing for Staten Island University Hospital-PeriOperative Services says, “Central Sterile Processing is the silent heartbeat of PeriOperative services as we provide support not just to the operating room but also surgery suites, clinic’s, physicians’ offices and more.”
Your work matters. David Braun CST, CRCST, Manager, Sterile Processing at Peconic Bay Medical Center echoes Kevin’s sentiments, “The Central Sterile Technician is the unsung hero in the fight against Surgical infections across the nation and it’s gratifying to see them get their due.”
The time is now. Matthew Rafferty, Manager, Central Sterile Services at Syosset Hospital says, “It is a very exciting time in the sterile processing field. It is rewarding to see so many technicians advance in their careers. This field holds enormous growth potential and a promising future.”
A growth that is well deserved for sterile processing. “The Sterile Processing field is rapidly growing as the healthcare industry has begun acknowledging this extremely vital role in the totality of the patient care continuum,” says Marc.
Marc, Kevin, David and Matthew understand the important role served by Sterile Processing. Their hospitals are two of Northwell Health’s facilities experiencing a tremendous surge in the need for periOperative services. That means exciting opportunities for dedicated, passionate technologists to join their outstanding surgical teams. If you’re looking for a Sterile Processing career at Northwell Health, we’ve made it even easier for you to apply with our new qualifications*. You may either have a sterile processing certification (CRCST or CSPD) OR provisional certification (CRCST) to apply.
*Does not apply to Northern Westchester Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center and Phelps Hospital
As Kevin L. Witcher says, “Northwell Health is providing individuals with the opportunity of becoming an integral part of periOperative services. You will have a direct impact on the outcome and experience that our customers receive!”
Get started right away!
Our new SPD credentials mean you can join us as a Central Sterile Tech with either a sterile processing certification OR a provisional certification.
Central Sterile Processing Techs have the chance to contribute to the surgical excellence of award-winning hospitals while working at the forefront of advanced surgical technology.
An Appointment With: Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN and VP of System Perioperative Services
When it comes to PeriOperative careers at Northwell Health, there’s an environment for everyone! With 23 hospitals and more than 665 outpatient practices, nurses have the flexibility to choose the right shift and specialty opportunity. Just ask Kelly Cifu, MSN, RN and VP of System PeriOperative Services. As a nurse for more than 20 years, Kelly grew her career with Northwell to her current position where she oversees 18 periOperative sites. We sat down with Kelly to discuss her history as a nurse with Northwell, the innovative technologies changing perioperative services, and the different career opportunities that are available for nurses looking to grow their career in perioperative nursing.
Why did you come to Northwell and what is your role today?
I started my nursing career at Franklin Hospital which is now known as Long Island Jewish at Valley Stream in 1987. I grew up in Franklin Square and knew that I wanted to work someplace close to home. For the first year of my career, I worked on a Medical/Surgical floor where I took care of many postsurgical patients. At the time this was a requirement for all new staff nurses that were hired. In nursing school, I had decided that I would really enjoy working in the operating room.
After my year of Med/Surg experience, I requested a transfer into the OR. I worked as a staff nurse for about six years and then was promoted to the Director of PeriOperative Services. I later moved to CFAM Ambulatory Surgery as Senior Administrative Director and then to Regional Director of Northwell’s PeriOperative Services. Next, I was promoted to the Associate Executive Director at North Shore University Hospital and then to VP of System PeriOperative Services. In my current role, I have oversight of 18 periOperative sites.
How is Northwell’s PeriOperative Services redefining health care with truly innovative technology?
The pace of medical and surgical innovation continues to increase. A wide range of new technologies are changing the way that surgeries are performed – while improving patient safety and outcomes and reducing health care costs in the process. Northwell works to be at the forefront of innovative health care as the deployment of new technologies in surgery creates many opportunities to provide our patients with better outcomes and a faster return to their everyday lives.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into perioperative nursing?
Candidates interested in periOperative nursing must be energetic, have good people skills and a great attitude. PeriOperative nurses love the fast-paced environment and the fact that no two days are the same. In one shift, you have multiple patients facing different surgeries. Nurses also enjoy the environment because it’s a specialty area in which they typically become close with their team members and enjoy the camaraderie.
PeriOperative careers offer a great deal of flexibility. There are many different shifts that are offered to fit anyone’s schedule and there are opportunities in a variety of periOperative settings such as the main hospital, an ambulatory surgery center or even a surgeon’s office. Northwell Health has 18 main surgical sites giving nurses a variety of opportunities to choose from. There are also a multitude of opportunities for growth in this specialty area. Nurses can choose to pursue leadership or educational roles within perioperative services. Career progression/certification is encouraged and supported at every level in periOperative services.
How is Northwell committed to keeping our employees engaged?
Northwell Health System has made employee engagement a top priority. The system continuously strives to improve employee satisfaction and workplace commitment. To accomplish this the leaders at Northwell clearly define and articulate our mission and vision, communicate effectively and often, coach employees for success, and strive to provide the most trusting and respectful work environment for all employees. Along with ongoing dialogue with our employees regarding Northwell’s achievements and opportunities, perioperative services holds an annual retreat specifically for our surgical services leaders and staff.
The periOperative leaders at Northwell are committed to continual improvement, teamwork, achievement, and obtaining the best results possible for our patients.
Northwell recently became the first health system to receive the Network of Excellence in Robotic Surgery designation from Surgical Review Corporation. Can you tell us more about Northwell’s robotic surgery technology?
Since it first started to gain traction about 15 years ago, robotic surgery has become increasingly common for many different types of surgical procedures, and is rapidly expanding in cardiac, GYN, ENT, thoracic, and neurosurgery, to name a few specialties. At Northwell, there’s a continuous movement to be truly innovative, adopting the latest technology to ensure the best care for our patients. Robotic surgery has results in greater precision while also providing enhanced visualization via video images. Providing our highly skilled surgeons with robotic surgery technology results in improved outcomes with faster recovery times.
Northwell’s surgical services has grown tremendously over the past few years. How are we continuing to grow in the future?
Northwell’s periOperative services is growing fast and we continue to enhance our extensive capabilities. We strive to continue to build top-notch interdisciplinary surgical teams and professionals. Northwell continues to add operating rooms with hybrid technology and constantly invests in state-of-the art technology. We have added kidney and liver transplant to those services provided and opened a world-class heart transplant center in 2018.
If you refuse to settle, if you constantly push yourself to achieve more, if you want to work on the cutting edge of surgical nursing, a nursing career at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) is made for you. We’re a Level I trauma center, a destination surgical center for the region and a place where the most complex surgeries are an everyday thing.
We’re bringing together a team of top-notch clinical professionals
We’re constantly investing in state-of-the-art surgical technology
We’re growing fast and enhancing our extensive capabilities, including a new building that will house 18 brand new state-of-the-art operating rooms
We’re adding ORs with hybrid technology and new ICUs
We’re opening a world-class heart transplant center
In all we do, we’ll continue to deliver high quality care and we won’t stop pushing the envelope. We are making changes at a pace that no other hospital can keep up with, and we need the right people to make it happen.
“Miracles happen at North Shore.”
–Kelly Treacy, Associate Executive Director of Perioperative Services
The heart of incredible achievements.
One of our most exciting developments is the upcoming opening of our new heart transplant center. “A life-saving heart transplant program at North Shore University Hospital will be a major resource for residents of Long Island, Queens and the outer boroughs,” said Alan Hartman, MD, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Northwell Health. “This gives transplant patients access to high-quality care, closer to home.”
Facing challenges head on.
From transplants to all of our surgical services, outstanding people are what drive our exceptional care. They question assumptions, push boundaries and always put patients first. The result? An impressive array of awards and designations:
Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence as named by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Named among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for neurosurgery, heart surgery and GI surgery
Designated Academic Centers of Excellence for minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology and gynecology by the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery
“This is for people who are eager to learn and want to be part of something really incredible –which is the delivery of stellar patient care. It is so much more than a job, it’s a passion.”
— Kelly Treacy
Movers and shakers.
To help grow exceptional OR performers, we provide exceptional opportunities for continuous learning. We also offer general OR and Ambulatory OR fellowships. And with our commitment to promoting from within, you’ll enjoy exceptional career advancement possibilities. This is a place where career progression is not only encouraged, it’s expected. And we’ll give you every tool and opportunity you need to go as far as your ambition will take you – RN to BSN to MSN and more.
“The caliber of people we’ve brought on has been fantastic, including baccalaureate-prepared nurses (many who are in pursuit of a master’s degree).”
— Kelly Treacy
Take up the challenge.
The continued excellence of our surgical programs requires OR nurses with the skills and passion to rise to meet even the greatest surgical challenges. If this sounds like it was made for you, you can take that next step at our OR Nursing Interview Day on Thursday, August 17. We’ve got 8, 10 and 12-hour shifts to choose from.
Refuse to settle. Don’t compromise your career to work conveniently. Help us shape the future of OR nursing, and accept the challenge that comes with it.
Interested in joining our team of OR nurses? Explore our unlimited career possibilities today.
Huntington Hospital receives its 4th Magnet® designation
Huntington Hospital, one of our community hospitals, has recently attained its 4th Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This is the highest honor an organization can receive for excellence in nursing care. In addition to being the first on Long Island, they are also second in New York State, and one of just 36 in the country to receive Magnet four or more times. Magnet status is the gold standard for nursing excellence – a reflection of Huntington Hospital’s nursing professionalism, strong collaboration, innovation, and teamwork as well as superiority in patient care.
Huntington Hospital’s culture is built on a commitment to quality, exceptional experience, and excellence for both patients and employees. “Our Nursing Leadership team is professional, dedicated, and committed to ensuring the best practice environment,” said Janet Milanese, Associate VP of Nursing.
Their nurses are able to practice in a supportive environment where opportunities are abundant, innovation is encouraged and their voices are heard. Their nurses work collaboratively and collegially with their interdisciplinary team to provide the best outcomes for their patients. “Senior leadership remains committed to nursing and meeting their strategic goals by supporting education, certification, and resources necessary to continue to provide high-quality care. Achieving and maintaining Magnet designation is a true testament to not only nursing efforts but also the efforts of all that support the nursing department at Huntington Hospital,” said Donna Tanzi, Director of Nursing Education and Professional Development.
Nurses at Magnet facilities can feel the strong attraction between the two as they are known for their high retention rates, high job and employee engagement/satisfaction scores, as well as a culture of excellence and positive patient outcomes. “As a new nurse seeking employment, Huntington Hospital was my number one choice because of their sterling reputation as a Magnet designated hospital. Working alongside nurses who hold such high standards has given me an unsurpassable advantage in my career. I consider myself very lucky to work in an organization that thrives on education and excellence,” said Jessica Shremshock, RN. Nurses are identified as the pioneers at the forefront of our evolving health system and all aspects of patient care, and the nurses at Huntington Hospital are always keeping the patient and their family’s needs at heart and find innovative ways to meet those needs. It’s that sense of empathic necessity that keeps their nurses motivated and constantly seeking ways to improve the care of their patients by refining nursing-sensitive indicators and keeping patients at the center.
Huntington Hospital nurses feel empowered knowing they have a voice that will be heard, and this support reinforces the culture of pride that is felt by all who work here. Megan, a registered nurse in the ER reaffirms just how special working at a Magnet organization feels, stating, “Working in a Magnet facility reminds me every day why I chose a career in nursing in the first place.” Shannell Blanchard, RN, also adds, “Working at Huntington Hospital has really changed the way I practice nursing. As a magnet hospital, they hold their nurses to standards of excellence and it has given me a foundation with which to be a better nurse. I am glad I made the choice to work here.”
Being recognized by Magnet is a tremendous honor. The culture of excellence at Huntington Hospital continually inspires the highest level of safety, quality, and patient and staff satisfaction. This fourth achievement affirms the foundation of nursing excellence they have built.Explore their nursing opportunities. (link to RN Huntington positions)
This week, Northwell Health will be at the AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo. If you’re attending the conference, visit our recruiters at the AORN Career Center – Convention Center Room #153A on April 1 and April 2, or you can come by our booth #537, April 2-4.
Make the most of your conference experience by reading the advice directly from our hiring managers. Not attending the conference? That’s okay, too. The advice below will help you with your career journey to join Northwell Health.
The little things mean a lot.
It may not seem like a big deal, but arriving on time, dressing appropriately, and following directions can make a big difference. More than that, be engaged, and actively listen. And, of course, always bring a resume.
“You would be surprised how many people don’t do the simple things well.”
— Ella Shapiro, Associate Executive Director of Perioperative Services at Lenox Hill Hospital
Be passionately curious.
It’s a familiar, but true statement, that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Be enthusiastic, research your desired employers, and be prepared to ask intelligent, insightful questions.
“We’re always looking for candidates with a positive attitude, a positive outlook, candidates with the willingness to say, ‘I don’t know, but I would love to find out.”
At Northwell Health, we’re looking for those candidates who go above and beyond. We seek those who are knowledgeable, but also willing and eager to learn new things. You must be willing to educate yourself on new procedures and products, specialty certified, or interested in obtaining certification. Above all, you must be focused on putting the patient and patient safety first.
“Make a statement and show your enthusiasm. Instead of approaching your availability with ‘this is what I can do,’ say ‘I want to work here, what opportunities do you have?’ That shows us that you’re passionate about working with us and are willing to do what it takes to make it work.”
–Dolores Reisert, Senior Administrative Director for Perioperative Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Find out for yourself.
To experience first hand all we have to offer surgical nurses, come meet us in person. If you’re not attending, visit our Careers page on Facebook to get to know us, our opportunities, and our culture. When you do, we’ll share all the advantages of a career in surgical nursing at Northwell Health . In addition to our state-of-the-art technology, you’ll benefit from working with a team of the top clinical professionals in the field with nursing leadership that is active, engaged and supportive.
Clinical Management – the difference between just another job and a great career.
Have you ever wondered what Operating Room career options we have, and why people choose to come work for us? Hear from our very own Dolores Reisert, Senior Administrative Director of Perioperative Services, and why she chose Northwell Health as her home.
“In choosing where to advance your career as a surgical nurse, the presence of innovative technology – including surgical robotics – is the factor that often gets the most attention. In this area, Northwell Health is second to none. After all, providing our clinical professionals and their patients with the latest and greatest clinical tools is something we’re nationally noted for.
But when it comes to your professional growth, enrichment and satisfaction, there’s much more than this. In fact, I have consistently been amazed by what a difference an active, engaged and supportive management team can make.
I’m proud to say that exceptional nurse management is exactly what we deliver at Northwell Health. Throughout our system, nursing leadership goes above and beyond the typical management role. They are active, engaged and highly supportive. They’re in the operating room with you while also maintaining a completely open door policy away from the OR. They welcome input and suggestions and are committed to putting their nurses’ ideas into practice.
To provide even more specialized support, we maintain a structure based on the use of service line managers. Nurses within periop services work with a manager in their own surgical specialty, rather than one who is responsible for the entire department as a whole. This gives nurses access to leadership that is more closely attuned with their unique needs and goals.
The result? Nurses who feel valued and respected for their skills, knowledge and contributions. In fact, in recent surveys, we maintain one of the highest nurse satisfaction levels in the healthcare field. More than that, our exceptional nurses and our strong nursing leadership have enabled us to achieve Magnet® designation at Long Island Jewish Medical Center from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This is the gold standard for excellence in the nursing practice.
If you want to know where this philosophy and commitment to the nursing practice begins, look no further than Maureen White, RN. As Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive for all of Northwell Health, Maureen provides the vision and direction that empowers all other managers to deliver the support our nurses deserve.
When you combine our outstanding nurse leadership with our state-of-the-art technology, unmatched variety of cases and procedures, the best physicians in New York and more, you’ll experience a surgical nursing career that can’t be beat!”
Written by: Dolores Reisert
Did you know that Long Island Jewish Medical Center is now offering a $10,000 sign on bonus to all experienced Operating Room Nurses? Begin your journey with our Magnet facility and search career opportunities today!
It is the policy of Northwell Health to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, generic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. Northwell Health leaders, including the CEO, are committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action.