Medical Centre Cleaning: What You Must Know
With the current worldwide Covid-19 pandemic in full swing, hygiene in medical centres has never been more important than it is right now. Because they deal with ill patients who may be afflicted with transmissible infections such as Coronavirus and flu, medical centres are at a much higher risk than any other type of public establishment.
- Handling Clinical Waste
- Medical Hygiene Practices
- Educating Staff
Specialised medical facility cleaning and hygiene practices need to be adhered to by professional accredited staff that meet the highest standards and provide necessary proactive communication with clients.
Handling Clinical Waste
Items in a medical establishment such as a general practice, hospital or care home come with necessary hazards. Such hazards include biological materials, chemicals and medical utensils such as bodily waste, disinfectants and sharp syringes.
All of these require special handling and Jenco staff are fully trained in medical waste disposal compliance. When handling certain medical waste products you should remember that colour-coded disposal containers are required.
Black plastic bags are used for general waste, yellow bags for bodily fluids, brown cardboard boxes for aerosols and glass and yellow plastic boxes for sharps. Be careful not to overfill any containers or bags and most will have a guideline level.
General waste includes such items as paper towels and can include non-infected sanitary products.
Bodily waste seems obvious but can also include anything that has been used such as gloves, dressings and aprons which may have come into contact with bodily fluids such as blood, urine and faeces.
Rigorously washing your hands after handling any kind of waste is absolutely vital in helping to prevent the spread of any diseases even when gloves and PPE have been worn.
Personal protective equipment should be used where possible when handling anything that could be considered hazardous, no matter how small. Medical PPE includes gloves, face masks, face shields and goggles. PPE has been designed to protect against contaminants that are bloodborne, airborne or physically attached to surfaces.
Medical Hygiene Practices
Practicing hygiene in a medical establishment is of paramount importance, especially now during a virus outbreak. The wearing of face masks and washing hands regularly is only the basic requirements that should be met.
Working a schedule for regular cleaning is the best practice for minimising bacterial spread by using specialised disinfectants that aren’t hazardous to staff or patients. Jenco staff are fully aware of the proper use of antibacterial products that have been approved for medical use and can develop a tailor-made cleaning schedule around your facility’s needs.
Proper cleaning of a medical facility doesn’t just mean mopping the floor. Chairs, washbowls, beds and handrails (among many others) all need treatment with the necessary cleaning products. Correct water and detergent solutions are required with clean sponges or cloths and items should be dried with non-shedding drying cloths.
Cleaning also extends to soiled sheets which should be washed in accordance with safety guidelines. Any towels, clothing or bedding that comes into contact with hazardous materials, not just bodily waste, need to be washed in a specific manner.
These materials should first be placed in the correct colour-coded containers and then moved to a secure laundry area while PPE should be used when handling or laundering such items. Such items should be washed at as high a temperature as possible and then stored in a separate clean area so as to avoid cross-contamination.
Cleaning medical facilities is not the same as private, industrial or commercial properties. Because of this, all medical cleaning staff need to be educated to meet rigorous accredited standards as outlined by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Jenco staff are trained in special procedures for cleaning medical centres which include infection containment and the correct disposal of medical waste. Syringes, bodily waste and biohazardous materials are all part of medical waste and need to be disposed of separately in the correct and legal manner.
While staff at medical centres mostly adhere to strict personal hygiene regulations, they might not necessarily be aware of all of the procedures for the cleaning of equipment and surfaces or the safe disposal of hazards.
Wherever possible you should educate your staff about the dangers of cross-contamination, incorrect waste disposal and the high risk of not handling sharps properly. Infection prevention and control work best when staff are knowledgeable of the risks.
Droplets, touch and bodily fluids are just some of the primary routes to infection that can cause such illnesses as Covid-19, Norovirus and HIV respectively. This is why all staff, not only nurses, need to be aware of the correct procedures for cleaning with disinfectants and anti-bacterial solutions as well as the communicable properties of contagions.