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Correct reprocessing of reusable medical devices to minimise the risk of infection transmission requires technical expertise and knowledge. Practices must ensure that staff involved in reprocessing have received adequate education (eg a course), training and regular competency assessment, and that these are documented.
It is essential that staff responsible for reprocessing reusable equipment completely understand the tasks, know exactly how to perform all steps (and have immediate access to clear and comprehensive instructions), and can be relied on to follow them completely. Responsibility for reprocessing tasks must not be delegated to administrative staff or other staff without first providing adequate initial and ongoing training.
Courses on these techniques are available from education providers. Additional education and retraining need to be provided when new procedures or equipment are introduced. The Sterilizing Research Advisory Council of Australia provides a list of sterilising courses available in all states and territories.
Regular competency checking can be performed onsite as part of ongoing training, to ensure consistency of performance.
Tasks that require competency assessment include:
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