The Pulse | Monday, October 15, 2018
Become a Champion for Change
An Interview with Beverly Levanti BSN RN CGRN CASC, Director of Nursing at Surgicare of Central New Jersey
Beverly Levanti BSN RN CGRN CASC, is the Director of Nursing at Surgicare of Central New Jersey. She also holds the unique distinction of being among the first to join SGNA’s Infection Prevention Champions Program. In this interview, Beverly shares how the program assisted her personal career development, bring positive changes to her unit and advice for those interested in joining the program.
When did you first join the SGNA Champions Program and what interested you in joining?
I joined the SGNA Infection Prevention Champion program when it was first introduced by SGNA, in 2013. At the time, I was working as the Infection Preventionist and an endoscopy nurse at our facility and thought our center could benefit from the knowledge shared by the SGNA Champions. The world of endoscopy continues to grow, and preventing infections in even the simplest of procedures should always be a main concern of the endoscopy nurse and technician. Patients depend on nurses and technicians being knowledgeable of the current technology and consistency in reprocessing. The Champions program provided me with a network of nurses and technicians facing the same challenges in the endoscopy unit. Newsletters provided by the program helped me provide in-services to the endoscopy team, as well.
Has the Champions Program helped play a role in improving your team’s processes or knowledge? How has the program helped you individually in your role?
In 2017, I completed my BSN and was promoted to Director of Nursing at the surgery center. I believe my participation in the SGNA Infection Prevention Champion program helped my education and played a role in my promotion. Being part of the program kept me current with the types of possible infections caused by improperly reprocessed equipment. I always encourage technicians and nurses to further their education by attending programs sponsored by SGNA at the local and national levels.
In an interview with SGNA in 2014, you mentioned you worked with a small staff. Do you still work with a tight-knit staff, and can you speak to how participating in something like the Champions program helped expand your team’s resources?
Our endoscopy department has grown since 2014 to four full-time RNs, one per diem RN, three full-time technicians, and one part-time technician. The full-time technicians hold CFER certification through CBSPD for endoscope reprocessing. I encourage them to attend conferences for flexible endoscope reprocessing through SGNA and CBSPD. The endoscopy team continues to work very well together. We have staff meetings and have in-services from our endoscopy product vendors to discuss the current trends in endoscopy. The most recent change we have made is the use of disposable buttons for the scopes. Although this adds an expense to the facility, it improves the safety of the patient since buttons can be difficult to manually clean. I credit SGNA’s Infection Prevention Champions program with helping me make this decision.
Was there anything from the Champions program you learned that made you re-think how something was done within your unit?
One of the biggest challenges faced by endoscopy departments is turnover time. After educating the physicians about the need to follow all the steps in reprocessing and room turnover, they understood that everything we do is in the best interest of the patients receiving the safest care.
For those interested in joining the Champions program, what is your advice?
The Champion program can help any endoscopy unit stay current in reprocessing techniques. I believe everyone can benefit from becoming a member because of the knowledge that is shared.
Registration for the Winter Session of the SGNA Infection Prevention Champions Program is open through January 21, 2020. Unit-designated SGNA Infection Prevention Champions carry out the mission and vision of the program, educating themselves and gastroenterology/endoscopy staff on infection prevention/control topics, maintaining high quality control within the endoscopy arena and addressing performance improvement needs. Learn more here and join today.