Two weeks before Christmas, I helped move my 88 year old mother in law (I call her Mama Lafata). She moved from a house to a two bedroom condominium. Her last move was over 34 years ago, so needless to say there were many items to move and new appliances to learn how to operate. Since the move, Mama Lafata has had to re-adjust, not only to the space and the size of her new place, but becoming familiar with those new appliances. One of her new appliances is an apartment size washer and dryer. As a family, we had shown Mama Lafata how to work everything, (stove, microwave, dishwasher) but not the washer dryer combo. Come to find out, this was a small issue. Mama Lafata grew up with the training that you clean the dryer screen after each use. We found out she had been using the dryer on a limited basis her first week. She was scared that too much lint in the screen would decrease the efficiency of the dryer and also might cause a fire. She stated "nobody showed me where the screen is" to clean after each time. Well, once we found this out, we showed Mama Lafata where the screen was located and how to clean it after each use. This story highlighted the importance of cleaning the screens on the various equipment found in the Sterile Processing Area (SPA) like a sonic, washer decontaminator, and yes your sterilizer, because if those screens are clogged they will cause issues. But how are we ensuring that all staff have been properly trained? In my travels I see a lot of screens that are not cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning screens is just one of the many steps to ensure that proper cleaning and sterilization takes place. Just like Mama Lafata stated, "nobody showed me what to do," we have to make sure our staff does not say, "nobody showed me what to do." So show your staff how to keep those screens clean.


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