Sterile processing technicians play an important role in any healthcare environment. That’s why it’s essential to provide them with the skills and tools they need to do their jobs; this includes providing them with appropriate sterilization equipment. Continuing education ensures that they are familiar with the latest techniques to sterilize new equipment.
Reference the Product Operations Manual
When a new piece of equipment arrives, sterile processing techs must learn how to sterilize it. There’s a logical place to begin: to keep up with…changes and ensure devices are properly cleaned, sterilization departments should first reference a device’s operations manual. In addition, it can be helpful to go online because manufacturers typically feature the most up-to-date instructions on their websites.
This is important in an overall sense, but it’s important at every stage of the process, as well. For example, during the washing stage, detergent is an issue that requires careful consideration. It should be compatible with the materials in the device and suited for the type of soil. Consult the recommendations from the device manufacturer.
Innovation is ongoing in healthcare, and sterile processing departments have to keep up with that. This is true even with equipment that’s been around for a while. That’s why it’s important for sterile processing managers to regularly review evidence-based research on sterilization processes and equipment to stay informed of updates and make corresponding change to their processes.
This applies to more than just the sterilization process. Storage is a critical issue; it’s a good example of the importance of adhering to current guidelines. Policies and procedures for sterile storage should be developed according to accepted professional practices to ensure that the function and sterility of medical and surgical devices and supplies are maintained until the time of use.
Establish Best Practices
In addition to adhering to established guidelines from manufacturers, employees adhere to hospital best practices, as well. Hospital best practices provide guidelines for all sterile processing employees to work together to achieve the same standard of excellence, and they’re an important part of ensuring that the facility is providing the safest, most thorough sterilization services possible.
Best practices are important for another reason, as well. They ensure that the standard of excellence goes beyond the sterile processing department and promotes the same level of efficiency and safety in the preparation of supplies in other areas (e.g., operating room, respiratory therapy). This makes every employee part of reducing infection and maintaining the highest standards for the good of all patients.
We’re Here for Your Staffing Needs
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. We understand the importance of sterilization, including having qualified personnel in this department. When you have staffing needs in sterile processing or elsewhere, we’re here to help. Call us at 310.436.3650.