What does a Medical Device Decontamination Technician do?
A Medical Devices Decontamination Technician will learn all areas of the department using a section by section training programme.
This is the first part of the process. Used sets and packs are returned from the customer and are regarded as contaminated. The Technician wearing appropriate personal protective equipment will check that all of the devices that should have been returned by the customer have actually been returned. This is vital as instruments have known to have been left in patients and the Technicians role can help prevent this. They will then prepare the devices to be processed within the automated washer/disinfectors which will clean and disinfect the devices so they can be prepared for inspection and packing
Inspection and Packing room (IAP)
This room is a Class 8 clean room so protective personal protective equipment is worn in this area to prevent re-contaminating the devices. All the devices are checked to ensure they are clean and fit for purpose before being assembled back into a pack or tray. There is a checklist included to ensure the correct instruments are placed in the tray. The pack/tray once completed is wrapped in sterilization drapes ready for the sterilization process.
In this section staff are responsible for the loading and unloading of the steam sterilisers and the release of the sterilized packs. The Medical Devise Decontamination Technician will also despatch and deliver to the wards and departments.
In each area there are work instructions so that staff will always have a reference relating to all the tasks that they will undertake
The reprocessing of the flexible endoscopes takes place in a different area of the hospital but is still part of the HSDU. The process used to decontaminate these very expensive and intricate devices is specialized as they are heat sensitive. The flexible endoscopes and their accessories are returned to the central endoscopy reprocessing area. They will then be manually cleaned before being placed in a validated Endoscope Washer Disinfector (EWD) where they are washed, both externally and all internal channels before being exposed to a high level chemical disinfectant to ensure they are safe to re-use. The endoscopes once processed through a “pass” cycle of the EWD are transferred to an endoscopy drying cabinet where they are held in a “fit to use” condition for a specified time. At all points through the reprocessing there is documented evidence of the process either electronic or manual.