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Sterilization Reprocessing Practices: Processes and Maintenance

Case Study 1


Please read through the following case study.  Reflect on your learning and your own research within this unit.  Prepare a response that responds to each of the issues presented below.  Your responses must reflect your knowledge, skills, and application for this unit. 

Case study 1

Detail the process that you would take to prepare used items on an instrument tray containing used non-critical, critical, and semi-critical items for sterilisation.  List your procedure from contaminated tray to readiness for sterilising.  Include in your response any requirements for safe disposal of waste, use of correct bins for some items, and PPE requirements for yourself.     

Case study 2

You have been asked to provide instruction on sterilisation processes at your dental surgery to a newly employed dental assistant.  Included is how to load and unload the steam steriliser and the importance of monitoring and recording the sterilisation.  In your own words, describe your sterilisation processes.

Case study 3

In order to maintain effective operation, washing, and sterilisation, equipment requires regular cleaning and maintenance that meets both manufacturer recommendations and Australian standards.   Describe the daily, weekly, monthly, and ‘as scheduled’ maintenance procedures that should be undertaken for maintaining a steriliser.  In your response, include the different testing methods used and the importance of ensuring quality assurance of sterilisation equipment.
Writing strategies and actions for future improvements

A case study is designed for you to demonstrate your skills in reading, accurately interpreting and providing workable responses and strategies. 

Check that your responses provide:

1.    Identification and clarification of the key issues.  Discuss and provide some suggestions as to what has caused these
2.    Key facts and information that is relevant and demonstrates your ability to provide solutions
3.    Templates and resources that could assist managers in the future when managing their teams
4.     Recommendations, both short term and long term, to improve the current situation  
Also ensure the appropriate use of headings and formats so as to reflect a professional presentation.  


Case study -1

The reprocessing of medical materials for sterilisation seems to be an easy process but if understood properly it is a complicated process that requires serious practices to ensure complete sterilisation.

As per infection prevention principles, biomedical services and occupational health instructions cleaning and disinfecting are reprocessing practices along with some PPE rules for workers that are strictly required before sterilisation . 

The personal protective equipment (PPE) rules are very first requirement that workers should follow to carry on a proper reprocessing for sterilisation. The PPE requirement includes: -

• Workers should perform hand hygiene both before and after removing gloves using soap, water, sanitizers and alcohol as per requirement.

• Workers should wear all the PPE equipment’s to avoid the risk of infections for contaminated stuff (blood and body fluid).

• Workers should follow manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning specific equipment’s . 

Further, the cleaning process is performed before disinfection or sterilisation that involves proper sorting of as critical, semi-critical and noncritical items. The sterilisation performed for different categories are always different, for example- critical items undergo steam, chemical or liquid sterilisation, semi-critical involves thermal or chemical sterilisation and noncritical items are cleaned using detergent.

The cleaning process involves: -

• Workers need to open instruments, remove clips and latches followed by rinsing instruments with warm water to remove dirt. 

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