The Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) offers the Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor (CFER) exam to certify one in, as it states, the reprocessing of flexible endoscopes. This is currently the only available accredited certification program of its type. By obtaining this credential you will be recognized as an expert in flexible endoscope reprocessing and have the ability to work in both Sterile Processing and GI Endoscopy.
This certification will ensure that one is competent in the following areas:
- Anatomy of the GI tract.
- Anatomy of GI scopes.
- Basic understanding of endoscopy procedures.
- Ability to identify a scope pertaining to its procedural use.
- Understanding of different High-Level Disinfectant’s (HLD’s)
- Proper handling of GI scopes.
- Proper manual cleaning and HLD of GI scopes.
- Proper storage.
*Of course, the CFER certification program covers a lot more and goes more in depth, but this is more or less what is covered.
Becoming a CFER is quite the valuable skill set to have. It has become more and more apparent that hospitals and surgery centers dealing with high volumes of endoscopic procedures prefer to hire techs that have this certification. Endoscopy is quickly evolving, and hospitals are seeing higher volumes. This is due to significant advancements in gastroenterology. Endoscopy is less invasive than surgery and allows doctors to see, assess, and diagnose in ways that they otherwise could not.
However, along with these advancements comes complexity. GI endoscopes have now become so complex that it should almost be a requirement to become certified in order to work with flexible endoscopes. Not to mention they are extremely delicate and extremely expensive! In addition to the complexity of the scopes, there is a drug-resistant superbug reaping havoc in GI centers. Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE is what has been causing all the trouble. So there is more a need than ever for qualified professionals to take on the responsibility of protecting our patients in the proper reprocessing of flexible endoscopes.