Cleaning, Decontamination and Waste Management Essays

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Unit 11
Cleaning, Decontamination and Waste Management
1. Understand how to maintain a clean environment to prevent the spread of infection.
1.1 State the general principals for environmental cleaning
The general principals for environmental cleaning are to ensure the hospital environment is as clean as possible to reduce the risk of infection, and that all precautions are taken in accordance to legislation and Healthcare policy’s and guidelines. “To prevent the transfer of micro-organisms which may cause infection, and to prevent the transfer of foreign protein which may cause adverse reaction and pose the risk of spreading diseases e.g. vCJD. “
Ref: class handout for Decontamination by xxxx

1.2 Explain the purpose of cleaning
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All equipment must be cleaned in between patients if it is re-usable and not for single use. There are three levels of risk High, intermediate and low, and three ways to decontaminate Cleaning, Sterilisation, and Disinfection.
Cleaning removes organic matter, and most micro-organisms it does not destroy all micro-organisms, this method also can be used prior to the sterilisation or disinfection of equipment Cleaning is a low grade form of decontamination, when a piece of equipment has not been in contact with a patient or a patient who has healthy unbroken skin. Cleaning is accomplished by using hot water with a detergent using a disposal cloth. I use this process as a social clean prior to the three-step wipe method for the flexible endoscopes we use in the department. When I have finished with the cloth it is disposed of in the yellow clinical waste along with the gloves. When cleaning equipment I ensure they are dried properly to prevent contamination.
Disinfection is used when a piece of equipment may have been contamination with a pathogenic micro-organism from mucous membranes or bodily fluids. Disinfection reduces the amount of micro-organisms but it will not destroy all bacteria or viruses. There are two methods of disinfection Heat and chemical disinfectants. Auto-claves are used in the hospital for items e.g. bed pans, endoscopes and devices used on a
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