The sterilization of tools is critical in all fields, but most importantly, in the medical field. The cleaning process must be done with proper care and attention after each use.
If you’re entering the medical profession, you will need to understand how to properly clean the equipment you use in your daily examinations. Here are a few of the best methods to sterilize your medical equipment.
Cleaning equipment in the form of moist heat is the most natural and popular way to clean your medical equipment. Because steam is nontoxic and inexpensive, many medical facilities depend on this method to sanitize their tools and equipment before and after each patient exam.
However, it’s important to note that when steam is used on materials that cannot withstand the temperature of the mist, like certain types of dental handpieces, the material can experience corrosion, and possibly even combustion.
For example, you must use caution when cleaning rubber, plastic, or any items that may be damaged under extreme temperatures.
You can steam your equipment by directing the steam at the tool for a limited amount of time.
Steam can quickly kill microorganisms; however, only a specific temperature can properly eliminate them—commonly 250 degrees and 270 degrees.
When using radiation to clean your medical instruments, be sure to place them in an air-tight bag and under a large enough field that allows radiation penetration of the pack. Radiation can remove bacteria from the tool while keeping it clean until subsequent use.
However, when using radiation, one must use extreme caution and wear the proper protection to avoid harm to the body and surrounding environment.
Ethylene Oxide Gas (ETO)
ETO sterilization was created as an alternative to sterilization methods that may damage instruments that cannot handle moisture. Keep in mind that this mixture requires pressure vessels that are typically measured for steam sterilization. Although this may be a more expensive option, it may be an option that is needed for your tools.
Similar to radiation, one must be meticulous in adequately protecting themselves from chronic inhalation of this colorless gas.
The above best methods to sterilize your medical equipment will enable you to properly clean your tools to provide excellent care to your patients. Additionally, understanding tips to keep exam tables and chairs in top shape can help you to improve your medical practice and reputation.