Last updated on June 19th, 2020.
Ensuring hygiene for medical equipment and accessories is a three-step process, which typically includes cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing. When it comes to reprocessing (for accessories and equipment which will be re-used), health care providers will need to ask themselves some questions before they come up with the ideal process for establishing good hygiene. For example, how is the piece of equipment or accessory going to be utilized? Whose responsibility is it to clean it? Should it be disinfected or sterilized? Am I qualified to do this?
How to Clean Items
First, you should begin by wearing protective equipment. Your workplace probably has policies and guidelines in place in terms of what people should wear as they clean medical equipment and accessories. Usually, people wear gowns, shoe covers, masks and gloves, but it varies. Wash you hands before donning gloves or taking them off.
Clean items with the cleaning solution that is provided for this purpose within your workplace.
How to Disinfect Items
According to expert, Spaulding, whose guidelines are widely followed and respected, the level of disinfection which is needed depends on the level of risk of infection involved with utilized items. Items should therefore be classified as presenting critical, semi-critical or non-critical risks of infection. Disinfection is not the same of sterilization. With disinfection, microorganisms which are harmful may be reduced or eliminated. With sterilization, all microrganisms are killed.
To disinfect, prepare the disinfectant solution used for this purpose. Then, wipe down surfaces and items with it. Wear protective gear as you disinfect.
How to Sterilize Items
To effectively sterilize all items, such as medical instruments, you will need an autoclave machine. This type of machine will utilize high temperature steam which is emitted at high pressure over a defined time period in order to kill all germs.
Follow Careful Processes Daily
Always be consistent about grading medical equipment or accessories and then decide on the right cleaning system for each piece of equipment or item. Once you do this, and then clean via disinfection or sterilization, hygiene at your medical facility will be as good as it can be. Also, always be sure that you are wearing the right protective gear. Proper hygiene practices for medical equipment will help you to keep patients at your facility safe and it will also be a great way to protect the health and safety of medical personnel. Be sure to clean with appropriate solutions.