Maureen Murphy — Medical Device Reprocessing

How did you end up where you are now?
I grew up in Kamloops and was trained as a nurse in Victoria, but most of my ~40 year career was spent as an OR nurse at other hospitals across Canada. I tried to get into the OR here at St. Paul’s but at that time they were over staffed. A friend recommended taking the Medical Device Reprocessing (MDR) course (we used to do a lot of the MDR work in the OR before it became an entity unto itself) and I was hired on at SPH eight years ago now.

What’s your role at PHC?
I’m the MDR educator, I deliver in-services to keep everybody up to speed on best practices, which come from the Canadian Standards Association, and I assess competencies to ensure everybody in the department is following those standards.

Have any mentors been particularly important in your career?
Our operations leader, Dianne, has been great. She’s an incredible source of support, always encouraging our team to take advantage of education opportunities. She’s not interested in micromanaging and trusts everybody to do a great job. She also does a great job of listening even if she has a hundred other things on her plate.

If there’s one thing you’d like people to know about your work, what would it be?
We do so much detail oriented work here, but unfortunately it seems like we only get noticed when a mistake is made. We understand that an error can have a big impact on the OR, but I wish there was more awareness of how many times we get it right.

What’s the best part of your job?
I get to know the staff very well and what I can expect from each of them. When I evaluate our team members, I get to reinforce the positives when they’re doing things well. If something needs to be improved, we work together on how to reach the next level, which can be just as rewarding.

If you could change one thing about your job what would it be?
More focused time. This is very detail oriented work, but there are a lot of distractions here. I’m used to being pulled in several directions at once from my time in the OR, but it would be nice to be able to be able to concentrate on one task at a time.

What attracted you to Providence Health Care?
When I came to PHC, the attitude was very much patient focused, which seemed to be missing in other places. People would hold the door open, say hello, it was very friendly. Our team talks a lot about integrity and work ethic, it’s great to have the freedom to talk about it. It seems like these days everything is financially driven, and sales reps are pushing what they have, so it’s nice to get back and see that patients matter.

What’s something you do differently than most people?
I’m very outspoken, sometimes I shoot from the hip and clean up the mess afterward. I think some people like knowing that they’ll get a straight answer from me, but I imagine others don’t appreciate it quite as much.

Is there anything you want to do, but haven’t done yet?
I really enjoy seeing what other MDR departments are doing so I’d like to do more of that. Occasionally we get to go to other sites and I know there’s no “right way” but it’s always interesting seeing how people can find different solutions to the same problem. I’m excited to see what MDR concepts and technology will come out in the next few years.