Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I golf; therefore I am a golfer….

I’m a self-taught golfer. I thought I was pretty decent, I can drive well if I ignore the fact that I slice to the right and rarely land on the fairway, I can putt and bunkers don’t faze me in the least, but my short game is crap. As I primarily play with men and being “slightly” competitive, I got to the point I wanted to improve so started taking lessons. I now have a new grip, a new swing and I SUCK!!! Why? I had bad habits. If I want to be truthful, I was doing it all wrong, but because I could hit the ball off the tee and putt into the cup I thought I knew how to golf. The same goes for everyone we hire into our Environmental Services programs. It’s virtually impossible to hire someone who has no experience cleaning. Everyone at some point in their life has likely done dishes, tidied their bedroom or cleaned a bathroom and all done without any formal education on how to properly use the cleaning chemicals our mom’s had handed us.

As we concluded in the “Top 10” blog, the number one abuse or misuse of disinfectants in 2011was lack of training. We CANNOT expect our staff to know how to correctly use the products and tools to do their jobs unless we TEACH them how to use them. Certainly in some aspects of our life, such as learning to walk or talk or in my case learning to swim (my mother quite literally “threw” me in the pool as was the rage for teaching babies when I was 4 months old), the concept of THE SINK OR SWIM SQUAD can be an effective learning process. For driving, practicing medicine, ensuring public safety through public health and I dare say for using cleaning and disinfecting chemicals a formal, comprehensive and reproducible education system needs to be in place. Isn’t that the concept behind Young Drivers of Canada or the myriad of Medical or Public Health Schools around the world? Why then is there not a Healthcare Environmental Services School?

If we teach everyone the where’s, what’s, why’s and how’s to using disinfectants and cleaning chemicals we won’t have any stories of how we have seen them used and abused. The goal of any Environmental Services Department within a healthcare facility should be to prevent the spread of infectious agents among patients and healthcare workers by meticulous cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces and patient care equipment. To reach this goal the EVS department will need to have a comprehensive training program, the objective of which should be to provide EVS staff with the information they need to do their jobs safely. The training program should be a part of the big picture - “how to protect yourself”. At a minimum the training program should include a formal written plan for each of the following topics:

1. Identification of Occupational Risks and Hazards associated with handling infectious waste

2. Sharps Safety

3. Blood Borne Pathogens

4. Infection Control Training (Microbiology and Transmission)

5. Hand Hygiene

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including donning & doffing

7. MSDS and Hazards associated with using chemicals (cleaning agents, disinfectants etc)

8. Product Usage Training including proper cleaning and disinfection techniques

It’s likely that now you, the person responsible for developing the program, is overwhelmed at the thought of the amount of work that needs to be done! Don’t panic. A quick Google search of “Sharps Safety Training for North America” found 76,600,000 hits. Rest assured there is a plethora of information out there so you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Remember to delegate! Talk to your Infection Preventionist and ask for their help in writing the Infection Control and Hand Hygiene segments (there’s section 4 & 5 completed). Talk to Purchasing to find out what company you are purchasing needles or other sharps from and find out who the sales rep is. I can guarantee that a company who sells sharps will have a training program developed (that’s section 2 out of the way). Now call up your chemical sales rep, any reputable company who sells product for cleaning and disinfection should have training material for handling, cleaning and disinfection of blood borne pathogens and who better than to come in and do the product usage training (section 3 and 8 are now complete!). Use your Occupational Health and Safety rep to help create the Occupational Risks and Hazards, MSDS and Personal Protective Equipment training (that takes care of section 1, 6, and 7). With a few telephone calls and a little collaboration the program is done.

My ultimate dream would be to see the development of an Environmental Services Certification Course that becomes the industry standard and prerequisite for anyone who is hired to clean in healthcare facilities. While I do not expect this to happen this year, I certainly hope your top priority for 2012 is to educate your staff on how to correctly use cleaning and disinfectant products.

Bugging Off!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Nicole! Thanks for including Young Drivers in your post. Enjoyed reading your thoughts here and definitely agree that training is so important. This is why Young Drivers re-trains our Instructors annually as well as ensure that new Instructors are provided with thorough training before becoming part of our teaching team. Havine a strong and consistent education and safety program are really key to improving standards. Best of luck :)