Best Practices for Sterile Processing in Hospitals

If you are interested in becoming a sterile processing technician it is important to remember just how important it actually is. It plays a key role in preventing infection within a medical environment especially when it comes to surgical patients and practices. If these processes are not practiced to 100% accuracy, a patient may obtain an infection that could cause them serious problems with their overall health. Being a sterile tech is not always easy, but if you follow these practices, you will ensure the protection of you, your hospital, and your patients.

Proper Training

One of the most important things a hospital training staff can do is to properly implement a training program for both their surgical and sterile processing team. In order to follow the rules of central sterile processing, you have to be fully trained on how the entire process works. Staff members tend to learn the most when they get hands-on training. Formal certification courses are a plus but there is nothing quite like teaching the staff the importance of proper sterile processing.

It is also important to cross-train the team so that everyone knows the sterilization process. You never know when you are going to be short-staffed and require individuals from other departments to help sterilize equipment. ( take this paragraph out: doesn't apply to US. Only certified sterile processing techs can sterilize and do this job)

Follow Manufacturer’s Standards

Instruments should be sterilized according to the recommendation of the manufacturer. Every piece of equipment is different and may require a different type of sterilization. Even though many of the basics of the sterilization process remains the same, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Build a Strong Relationship with Your Staff

Every single person in the sterile processing department should know and understand the process of sterilization. They should also be able to work together to help one another achieve the ultimate goal of infection prevention. Procedures may change from time to time so it is important to keep your staff updated with the most recent change, no matter how small they may seem to be. It may take some time to learn all of the processes but the more you know, the better you work together as a team.

If you want to become a sterile processing technician it is crucial to find a facility that will give you the knowledge, training and basic hands-on skills in decontaminating, assembling, sterilizing, properly storing and distributing medical devices and instruments in order to achieve a high standard of care for the patients and keep the risk of infection at its lowest. After all, Sterile Processing, as it is now being recognized, is the heart of the hospital or medical facility.