HSPA Fellowship Program

HSPA's Fellowship Program was developed to give recognition to the competence of its members and to provide them with a measure of achievement that will be meaningful even to those outside the organization.

Fellowship status is one of the highest honors professional organizations can bestow upon their members. As such, HSPA Fellowship is an honorable distinction that must be earned through hard work, a commitment to professional advancement, and a desire to raise the bar as both an HSPA member and as a contributor to the Sterile Processing field.

Content and Organization of Fellowship Papers

  1. Explain in detail how the topic/findings of the research paper affect the hospital or profession. Provide enough detail so the document will be understandable.
  2. The document must detail the participant's experience in the Sterile Processing department SPD), and also with the topic chosen for the research paper.
  3. Length and Type: Use type that is similar to the type used throughout these guidelines. Please, no cursive or artistic font as it can be difficult to read. The document submitted must be at least 8 to 10 typed and double-spaced pages. Estimate how long the document might run in printed pages, count every written page (including the title page and text pages, tables and figures) and divide by 3 (i.e., 1 printed page = 3 written pages).
  4. Headings: Carefully consider your material and the sequence and levels of importance of the ideas you wish to present. Headings help a reader grasp the document's outline and the relative importance of the parts of the document. Use footnotes, where applicable. The document should contain:
    1. Title Page – A title should summarize the main idea of the document simply and, if possible, with style. It should be a concise statement of the main topic and should be fully explanatory when standing alone.
    2. Introductory Paragraph – The body of your document should open with an introduction that presents the specific problem or issue and describes the research strategy. Before writing your introduction, consider:
      1.  What is the point of the document?
      2.  How does your research relate to the problem?
      3.  What are the implications of your study, and how does the research relate to previous work in the area? What other research ties into your presentation?
      4.  A good introduction answers these questions in one to two paragraphs.
    3. Body – The body of your document should flow smoothly with each paragraph developing on the previous, keeping the main idea, concept, project as the main focus. Your body, once the foundation has been established through your introduction, will educate the reader. The body should be written with the help of a well-thought-out outline where one idea or concept or subsection develops and builds from the previous. It is here you will support your ideas and research with graphs, tables, and/or pictures. When properly placed, these pictorials will help solidify content messaging and grab the reader. Giving a visual should help the reader understand a specific subsection of your work.
    4. Concluding Paragraph – The final paragraph of your document should guide the reader to understanding:
      1. The author's purpose or contribution to the subject matter
      2. How the paper helped identify or resolve a plaguing issue in the industry
      3. Conclusions or ideas that the reader can draw from the research, which has not be previously established 
  5. Graphs, Tables and Illustrations – Must directly relate to the project and be clearly understood.
  6. References – Just as data in your paper supports interpretations and conclusions, the same is true of reference citations document statements made about the literature used. Authors should choose references judiciously and must include only the sources used in the preparation of the document. The author must ensure that each source referenced in the research paper appears in both the document as well as on the reference list. The standard procedures to be utilized for references ensure that the references are accurate, complete and useful to the readers.
  7. Strategies to Improve Writing Style – Three approaches to achieving professional and effective communication are (1) writing from an outline; (2) putting aside the first draft and then rereading it after a period of time (determined by the author); and (3) asking a colleague to review the draft and offer any constructive criticism. It also helps to read other articles—looking at style rather than content.
    1. Writing from an outline helps identify main ideas, defines subordinate ideas, disciplines your writing, maintains continuity and pacing, and helps pinpoint unintentional omissions or content overlap.
    2. Rereading your own copy after setting it aside for a few days permits a fresh approach. Reading the paper aloud enables you not only to see faults that may have gone unnoticed on the previous reading but also to hear them as well. When these problems are corrected, give a polished copy to a colleague—preferably a person who has been published but who has not been close to your own work—for a critical review.
    3. These strategies, particularly the latter, may require you to invest more time in the document than you had anticipated. The results of these helpful hints, however, may be greater accuracy and thoroughness and clearer communication.
  8. Grammar – Incorrect grammar and careless construction of sentences distract the reader, introduce ambiguity, and generally obstruct communication. When you develop a clear writing style and use correct grammar, you show concern not only for accurately presenting your knowledge and ideas but also for ensuring easier readability. Spelling errors and other typos are glaring mistakes that are unacceptable for a Fellowship paper. Proofreading your document and using spell check on your word processor should eliminate or greatly reduce the risk for misspelled words. Note: Fellowship papers that contain spelling errors will not be accepted.
  9. Order and Numbering of Document Pages – Number all pages consecutively. Arrange your document as follows:
    1. Title page with paper title and author's name.
    2. Table of contents (separate page, numbered as Page 1).
    3. Text (start on a new page, numbered as Page 2).
    4. References (place on a new/dedicated page at the end of the paper).
  10. Cover Letter – A cover letter should accompany the research paper. The cover letter should identify the purpose of the author's undertaking and the motivation to pursue that particular subject matter. The second paragraph should briefly describe the author's background and education, giving the Fellowship committee a quick snapshot of the author and making the reading a bit more personal. The final paragraph should include the author's phone number, so the committee members can reach out with any questions.

Applicants may email HSPA with any questions regarding these guidelines.

This commitment to advancing Sterile Processing (SP) knowledge, skill sets and professionalism is why over 40,000 members and certification holders rely on HSPA to keep them sharp, focused and abreast of the very latest standards, best practices and technological advancements impacting the SP profession.