The sterile processing department is like a very small island in the middle of the sea. You know it’s there and you can see it if you look hard enough but you don’t get in the boat that takes you there unless you absolutely have to go there. You stay on more substantive ground: somewhere you’re comfortable, somewhere you know better, somewhere you can make a difference. Sometimes, you even forget that sterile processing exists. What a relief! But then something happens: a surgeon complains about bioburden on an instrument, the pipes above sterile processing break and sewer water rains down into prep and pack and sterile storage, a circulating nurse tells you they’re sterilizing cardboard for urology procedures, a device has a mechanism that is so difficult to clean that you can’t get it clean even when following the manufacturer’s instructions for use, surgeries are delayed due to wet loads, VP shunt infections are on the rise. This session will help you build a bridge to the sterile processing island. We will follow the life of an instrument, discuss available resources to address issues in sterile processing, and make you want to embrace SPD rather than swim from it.
Describe the life cycle of an instrument.
Discuss common issues in sterile processing.
Apply troubleshooting methods to solve sterile processing issues.