Surgical Suite and Sterile Processing

Sterile processing departments are an essential part of keeping patients safe in healthcare settings. Technicians are responsible for taking precautions that prevent infections in patients. They sort contaminated instruments, decontaminate,  and sterilize instruments for future use. Some sterile processing departments also disinfect shared patient care...

So you’ve decided to embark on the journey to becoming a sterile processing technician. Before you can hold the responsibility of cleaning patient care equipment or inspecting, decontaminating, sterilizing, and packaging surgical instruments and devices, there are a few steps you need to complete. Sterile processing...

Although not part of Standard Precautions, it seems appropriate to discuss sharps handling after discussing safe injection practices in an earlier blog. While safe injection practices focus on protecting patients from poor healthcare personnel practices, this blog focuses on protecting the healthcare worker. Some Basic Information...

When we think of environmental monitoring, temperature, humidity, and air exchanges in the operating room (OR) and sterile processing department (SPD) usually come to mind. However, there are numerous other areas in both acute and ambulatory care settings that must be monitored. Environmental Monitoring Basics Accrediting and...

The surgical attire guideline was extensively revised by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and has received much attention since publication in 2015.  The most controversial point was the requirement to cover all hair on the head and ears, which was based on a...

Although the Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN) has published surgical attire guidelines for many years, questions remain about what constitutes appropriate surgical attire in various settings.  The goal of the surgical attire guideline is to reduce microbial contamination throughout the continuum of care in the...

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) published an updated version of the Comprehensive Guide to Steam Sterilization and Sterility Assurance in Health Care Facilities guideline (ST79:2017) in late 2017. One area that is significantly different in the updated guideline is related to...

Outbreaks related to flexible endoscopes have been in the news repeatedly over the last several decades. Most outbreak investigations concluded that inadequate cleaning, improper high-level disinfection procedures, or problems associated with an automated endoscope reprocessor were responsible for the outbreak. However, the more recent outbreaks...

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