I did something to save a life
“I feel proud as a Medical Device Reprocessing Technician because we are the backbone of the OR. If we do not provide the correct surgical instruments and supplies that are sterilized and work properly, they are not able to do surgery.
We feel like we are indirectly working for those in emergency or who are waiting in the long line for surgery. When we know the person is saved, alive and out of danger, I feel proud that I did something for the patient. Even if I do not know the patient, I did something to save a life.
I really like my job because it is interesting. Our main responsibility is to reprocess all the medical devices and instruments. The OR decides how many cases they are going to do and sends us the slate, which lists everything they need. We also reprocess items from other areas of the hospital and clinics.
The OR does all kinds of surgeries, like Orthopedics, where they may do up to eight total knee surgeries in a day. After surgery, they put all the devices and dirty instruments in carts and send them to the decontamination area. We sort the items and make sure there are no sharps that can harm us.
In the decontamination area, we wear all PPE like gowns, masks, gloves, booties, head covers and eye protection because we are at risk of exposure from dirty instruments. This is standard PPE, even without COVID.
The instruments go through the washer, and then are sent to the clean side for assembly. We have to check everything is functional, ensure nothing is damaged, and we inspect for cleanliness. Then they are ready for sterilization.
We can’t leave any little bit of foreign body on the instruments because it goes into the patient. The patient can be my relative or your relative. First thing in my mind always when I do anything is these instruments can be used on me or someone I love, so I have to pay full attention to all details.”
- Baljit, Medical Device Reprocessing Technician, part of the health care team