Steven Adams' Story
GBMC provided me with an opportunity to begin my medical career in 1987. At that time I was a military trained Surgical Technician and just completed my training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I was hired as a surgical technician for, at the time, the ENT Operating Room. This OR was a specialty OR dedicated to ophthalmology, ENT, head/neck cancer procedures and endoscopy procedures. I worked with a number of the finest surgeons including Dr. Daryll Jaques, Dr. John Saunders, Dr. Richard Hirata, Dr. George Alderman, Dr. Samuel Lumpkin, Dr. Karl Diehn, Dr. James Kelley, Dr. Alan Robin and Dr. Julia Haller, just to name a few. I was encouraged by both the physicians and the nursing staff to further my education by attending nursing school. With the assistance of GBMC's tuition assistance program along with benefiting as a recipient of several T. Rowe Price Scholarships, I completed my nursing degree during the years of 1990-1993.
As a newlywed with additional household responsibilities, it would have been impossible to afford nursing school without this financial assistance from GBMC. For that, I am so grateful for these available opportunities.
My nursing career began as a Nurse Grad on Unit 38 which was then the Progressive Cardiac Care Unit. I was mentored by one of GBMC's finest nurses, Mary Hoover, who now practices in the GBMC Wound Care Center. Mary provided me with the most detailed orientation process and helped refine and allow me to transition the skills from the classroom into the reality of providing care for our patients. Although this part of my nursing career was very rewarding, I truly missed the excitement of the operating room environment.
In 1994, I was blessed with the birth of my son Andrew, which forever changed my view on life. He was born here at GBMC which offered me a first-hand experience of our excellent Labor & Delivery department and staff. Little did I know at the time that I would be able to give back to this department in a unique way. Additionally, a position became available in the operating room, and I was accepted as a registered nurse in the Operating Room. This was the beginning of how multiple opportunities would lead me to what I do today.
I took every opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills in the operating room. This further led me to hold various levels of positions in the OR including being the Charge Nurse for the GOR and overseeing the daily operations of the unit. This was a perfect opportunity that enabled me to develop and improve my human relations and communication skills in addition to prioritization and crisis management skills. After two years in this role, I was provided an opportunity to be the interim manager for the Central Sterile Processing Department. This was a moment in my career that was very pivotal, but I had no idea at the time. My wife, Shari, who has always been very supportive of me and my career choices, helped convince me that this was a great opportunity that I should not pass up. She could not have been more correct. I am married to the best wife a man could ever hope to have.
My life as the CSP manager began in 2003 and I do not regret it to this day. I would have never imagined the vast challenges that I would be exposed to both personally and professionally. The department has seen many different challenges in staffing, workload, professional standards, policies and financial decisions, and even construction and renovations. It is impossible to put a price on the knowledge that I have attained in this position as it relates to device reprocessing and its critical importance to patient safety and preventing healthcare associated infections (HAIs). I have utilized this knowledge to advance my professional status in the international sterile processing community by serving as the President for the Maryland Chapter of Sterile Processing Professionals (MASPP)as well as serving on the Executive Board for the International Association of Healthcare Central Service and Materials Management (AHCSMM). I have written articles for publications and have presented at National Conferences.
Because of the chance that GBMC took in hiring me in 1987, I have been able to capitalize on numerous opportunities that have helped enable who I am today. Not only did GBMC provide me financial assistance through tuition assistance and scholarships, but I have been exposed to many wonderful individuals who have helped guide me to who and where I am today as a member of the healthcare profession.
Additionally, GBMC was the birthplace for my son. My wife and I were provided a wonderful environment with caring practitioners that helped make his birthday a very memorable positive experience. This further helps me think of GBMC as my home away from home.
Now, in my current role, I look at every day as an opportunity in which I can provide a service to our GBMC community. Ensuring that surgical instruments are reprocessed to the highest quality standards possible, I can help provide a level of assurance and a feeling of security to our patients and their families. Having the ability to offer the education and the guidance to promote this level of safety cannot be understated. My staff performs these crucial reprocessing tasks every day knowing that the instruments they hold in their hands will be used inside our patients. These instruments must be safe and free of deadly micro-organisms so that surgical procedures to improve vision and hearing, promote mobility, decrease pain and aid in the birth of a child are successful. Knowing that the team that I manage can offer such a critical level of service to the community is a reward I still experience every day.
For this, GBMC, I am eternally grateful.