EU Supports Sterilization Department at OKEUH

Image: Aerial view of the Dr. Owen King-EU Hospital. [PHOTO: Bill Mortley]

PRESS RELEASE – STERILIZATION of medical equipment is of utmost importance in the medical sector, particularly in a hospital. It is against this backdrop that a training session was conducted with staff of the Sterilization Department at the Victoria Hospital. This training was conducted at the Owen King-EU Hospital (OKEUH).

Sterilization in hospitals is one of the most important processes in order to prevent hospital-acquired infections. Reportedly, thousands of patients die every year or are infected due to improper sterilization of medical equipment.

The Central Sterilization and Storage Department (CSSD) at the Owen King-EU Hospital was the venue for a training session with sterilization experts from the University Hospital in Martinique. Nursing Director at Victoria Hospital, Ruth Regis-Adesanya, provided the background to this training which focused on the proper use of equipment and techniques for sterilization.

“Through the EU, we were given the opportunity to get a lot of our staff trained. The training has two components. The first component was our staff from Victoria Hospital going across to the University Hospital in Martinique — commonly known as Lamina Hospital — and the second component is the technical experts from the hospital in Martinique actually coming over and this is what is happening today. Our staff members did go across they were exposed to the systems and processes at University Hospital and now the university experts are here looking at our layout and ensuring that what they taught our staff is able to be practiced within the OKEUH setting.”

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Head of the Sterilization Department at Victoria Hospital, Nurse Hilaria Herman, stated the benefits of this round of training.

“Of course, we are going to benefit from this training in that we will gain a bit more knowledge on our five major activity areas: our decommissioning area, our preparation and packaging area, autoclaving, storage and distribution area,” Herman said.

Nurse Herman stated that there is much to gain from this collaboration: “We are expecting the outcome to benefit the people of St. Lucia and our staff because of the knowledge gained. The other plus for us is that we would have fostered that relationship, proper networking with our people in Martinique.”

Facilitator, Veronique Legris, was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the hospital staff. She also drew comparisons with the equipment used in Martinique and what is available at OKEU Hospital.

“We have similar washing machines and similar processes as in the new hospital. It’s because we shared our experience with participants of the Sterilization Unit in St. Lucia,” said Legris.

The Central Sterilization and Storage Department is responsible the decontamination, assembly and sterile processing, sterile storage and distribution of medical and surgical supplies and equipment throughout the hospital.

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