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Q: Gel nails are fairly new. Is it acceptable to wear gel nails in the operating room?
A: There is a difference between gel nails and gel polish. Gel polish is OK, gel nails are not.
A: We do not allow anything that cannot be removed immediately with regular nail polish remover. No gel, no, acrylic, no SNS, etc.
Q: When a new hire calls in on their first day without a reason what is one to think?
A: That is their last day!
A: First day without a reason, I have a conversation followed by an email and notify the human resources department.
SPD and Certified Surgical Technologists
Q: Is it beneficial to staff sterile processing department with surgical technologists? Will this increase patient safety and decrease case delays? Can you tell me if certified surgical technologists have a role in your sterile departments? (Continued from last month)
A: I will say there is a benefit to having some of the SPD positions staffed with certified surgical technologists. We have both in our department and find great value in the mix. We greatly value the certified sterile processing tech role and would add that the surgical techs add another dimension to the department as they often are aware of the unique perspective that scrubbing the cases in OR gives.
A: Surgical technicians definitely have a place in a surgical service and having knowledge of the numerous instruments found in every service of the operating room. However sterile processing technicians must also know all the instruments for every service along with all the processes that are involved with providing the operating room with sterile instrument trays. Many processes include cleaning, decontamination, packaging, sterilization and distribution of those trays also require in-depth knowledge. Along with these processes, sterile processing techs must also know the quality control of each process and the equipment requirements for each process.
Sterile processing is a profession as is surgical technology. Each profession has its own standards and requirements. Most often resources are available for surgical techs but not sterile processing techs. Today more than ever before there must be resources given to SPD for certification and education of techs. With the difficult issues with devices now being used in surgery and following all the IFUs these resources must start being allocated in SPD. Certification of all SPD techs needs to become the standard in every department that uses sterile instruments. Patients should not have to be concerned that the instruments used in their surgery are clean, functional and sterile.
Long story short, allocate resources for SPD and make certification mandatory in every health care facility including doctors offices, dentists offices and health care facilities offering surgical procedures. Keep surgical techs in the OR and processing techs in SPD. They each have a very important job function.