Couple of things have me thinking about the temperature. The first thing, I bet, has many of us thinking about the temperature - the weather is changing. Autumn is upon us and it is getting colder. Fall here in Michigan is often the nicest time of year. Mild, sunny days and invigorating cool nights. The only problem with Fall, is that we all know that right around the corner are the really cold temperatures! The other thing getting me to think about temperature is my fish tank. After 7 years, and the passing of my last surviving fish, I took the opportunity to thoroughly clean and refurbish my tank (new gravel, new filter, new plants, etc.). Keeping fish alive is a balancing act. Water quality is key. The wrong condition of water can mean death for the fish. The right temperature range is also key. I have a fresh water tropical fish and the target temperature is around about 78F, give or take. To achieve that temperature, I have a submersible heater with temperature sensor that automatically turns the heating element on and off as needed. But these sensors can fail, as can the heater itself. So for confirmation of the temperature, I have an aquarium thermometer. The particular one I have is a liquid crystal thermometer - using the same technology found in forehead thermometers. When it comes to sterile processing, temperature is also key. The right temperature is the key to sterilization, to effective cleaning, to thermal disinfection, to proper storage of sterile products, the comfort and efficiency of staff and the safe handling of items that have been exposed to thermal processes (i.e., autoclave racks), to list a few. To be certain that the right temperature has been reached, we use various tools: chemical indicators, irreversible and reversible thermometers, infrared thermometers and thermologgers - to name a few. The right temperature is one of the keys to success in sterile processing. With the weather turning cold here, I do look at my fish with a little bit of envy - they live in a constant state of 78 degrees F. I could live like that!


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