Reprocessing technicians and perioperative nurses face challenges in steam sterilization every day. A significant difficulty confronting technicians is the increasing complexity of instrumentation and set design. The complexity creates even greater challenges to effective steam penetration, air removal, and the probability of dry sets. Technicians and nurses must thoroughly understand not only the basic theories and principles of steam sterilization, but the technological advances and practices needed to sterilize complex instrumentation, multilayered trays, new packaging material and containment devices.
1.0 CE Hours Approved by: CBRN, CBSPD & IAHCSMM
What Will I Learn?
Successful steam sterilization provides one final outcome; a medical device that is safe for patient contact. This study guide will review Steam Sterilization and help you to understand the theory of steam sterilization, types of steam sterilization cycles and recommended monitoring, components and operation of the sterilizer, and causes leading to sterilization failures.
Upon completion of this study guide, you should be able to:
1. Understand the importance of proper set design and packaging selection to improve steam penetration and air removal.
2. Understand the differences between gravity, immediate use, prevacuum, and steam flush pressure pulse (SFPP) cycles.
3. Discuss the importance of good steam quality.
4. Understand the three components of effective steam sterilization are: a properly constructed and functional steam delivery system, proper sterilizer function, and properly designed and packaged steam loads.