This week’s TIPisode is with Noel Brandon-Kelsch and is a great reminder about our surface disinfectants!
Medicom sponsors this episode. Head over to their website and learn more about their SafeMask to keep you and your patient protected
Noel Brandon-Kelsch is an international speaker, writer, Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice and Director of Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program. She is passionate about oral health and has the uncanny ability to motivate and enlighten audiences through her unique humor and cutting edge information. She takes the tough subject matter and presents it in such an exciting way that it becomes thought-provoking even to those not involved in her industry.
Noel is an infection control guru and is going to bring us tips that can make use more informed clinicians!
Check out her webpage noelkelsch.com
For your viewing pleasure this TIPisode has been transcribed:
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date, and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Noel Kelsch: This is Noel Kelsch. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about common errors in surface disinfection. Remember that the surface disinfectants that we’re using are classified by the EPA as a pesticide, so those ingredients are there to kill bacteria, virus’s spores. On the label it’s going to tell you the things that the EPA has examined and evaluated. Those include the ingredients that are in that pesticide, where it’s supposed to be used — whether it’s in a medical setting, in the home, or on food — the amount and frequency and the time of it’s use, and how it is to be discarded and stored. All these things are available on the EPA website for each product that you use.
We as clinicians have to start taking the time to really understand what that label means. I did a survey a few years ago, and what I found was about 92 percent of you are not reading the label of the product that you’re using. Anytime a new product comes in, any time the label changes, we need to be reading it. And we need to be training our staff on how to use it.
Now, when I asked the question, “What’s the minimum number of wipes it takes to do a room, to process a room,” 14 percent thought they could use one wipe and 20.5 percent stated they didn’t know. Remember that I want to make sure that you understand that it is always a two-step process. Where we get confused sometimes is we’ll see products that say they’re a one-step disinfectant. The disinfectant part might be one step, but we have always got to do the first step, which is the cleaning process. So if we don’t see any debris and we’re for sure that there’s no blood on there or other potentially infections material, then sure you can just do the disinfectant. But for the majority of us when we have a clinical-contact surface, we’re having to do a two-step process. Debris present on an object or surface can stop the disinfection process. The disinfectant has to be able to breach the bacteria.
There’s also confusion about how we use that product. Some people think that you can just take the two-by-two and stick it in a jar and pour a disinfectant over it. That’s not the case with most of the disinfectants that are out there. And, in fact, there’s a study out of Cardiff University that clearly showed that that is not a good thing to be doing because the bleach that is in that two-by-two may render the product inert.
So what do we have to do? How are we going to stop? How are we going to make sure that we’re following what we should be doing? Well, the label that is on the product is the science behind the product. So I’ve got to read that label. No matter what, I have to read that label. As I read the label, I’m going to find many things out. I’m going to find out, first of all, that it says on the label it is against Federal Law to use this product off label, which means I can’t make up my own way of using it. I can’t decide “Oh, I’m only going to use one,” or “Hey, I’m going to pour the fluid out of this into another jar,” or “I’m going to pour something on top of this.”
Following the label directions on an EPA-registered disinfectant is not just a suggestion. It’s required by OSHA and the EPA. It’s the only way you can be assured that their product will be effective and that the staff will be safe. It’s going to tell you what you’ve got to wear, what you’ve got to do. Staff must be trained on how to use the product, and they must comply with training. No one should use a product in any other way than in what is specified on the label. There’s a reason for the directions that come with the product.
I hope each of you are going to take the time to start reading the labels and keeping yourself safe. Stay safe out there. Take care of you just like you take care of those patients. Thank you for being here today.
Michelle Strange: This TIPisode was brought to you by Medicom. Head over to Medicom.com and check out their products. They have gloves, mask [sic], sterilization pouches, and so much more. Make sure you take infection control into your hands with the best products. Check out Medicom.com.
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