In the first part of this series, we talked about safety protocols regarding regular tests on autoclave machines, the importance of using caution when unloading items, and why regular maintenance is required. In this article, we’re going to discuss how employees can be prepared to use autoclave sterilizers safely.
Proper training: Before anyone uses an autoclave, whether it’s a Tuttnauer tvet veterinary autoclave, a Midmark autoclave, Scican Statim 5000 / Scican Statim 2000 or any other refurbished autoclave sterilizer, they need to be properly trained. While these machines may seem easy to use, they do require some preparation and planning to operate correctly. So anyone who is going to operate the autoclave needs to be familiar with the instruction manual and all of the controls on the machine. They should know how to properly load and unload the machine and fully understand any emergency procedures put in place. Facilities should keep records of all of the staff members trained on using the autoclave.
Appropriate clothes: Just like using any other equipment, staff members should be dressed appropriately whenever they’re using an autoclave. They should also have closed-toe shoes on and a lab coat to protect their skin. When they’re loading and unloading the machine, they should wear eye protection, like safety glasses or goggles, and heat-protecting gloves. Anyone in the area where the autoclave is should be aware of these clothing requirements and there should be reminders posted on the walls to ensure these protocols are followed.
On-site documentation: Record keeping is essential when it comes to using tvet veterinary autoclaves and other autoclave machines. Anyone who operates an autoclave is responsible for recording the machine run information and data according to the established documentation process. Information that should be recorded includes cycles that are run, any maintenance and repairs that are done to the machine, and any incidents or accidents that occur. Keeping proper documentation will ensure the machine is properly cared for as needed.
With bloodborne pathogens being able to survive on objects for up to one week, it’s important that all reusable equipment is properly sterilized. And when all of these important safety tips are followed, staff members can ensure they’re using autoclave machines are used effectively and safely.
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