Sterile Processing Technician Course: Achieving Excellence in CSSD Management

Sterile Processing Technician Course: Achieving Excellence in CSSD Management

Technicians hone crucial skills through Aesculap Academy

by Enrique Castro, Jr.

Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) also called Central Supply Department (CSD), defined by the World Health Organization as the heart of the hospital, is a division in a healthcare facility that performs cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of medical devices and equipment for subsequent use in the operating theatres of the hospital and other areas (such as surgical, medical and maternity wards, out patient department and emergency room), and performs aseptic procedures.

CSSD requires knowledgeable and highly trained technicians so that used surgical instruments and other medical equipment can be safely reprocessed for reuse in other patients. CSSD technicians work in three major areas to accomplish the functions of decontamination, assembly and sterilization process, and central storage.

  • Decontamination. An area where cleaning and disinfection of used surgical instruments and operative devices are done either manually or by the use of operative special equipment like washer and disinfectors.
  • Assembly and Sterilization. From the decontamination area, all instruments undergo thorough inspection and function testing, assembly, organization, packing into appropriate sets, and finally sterilized through sterilization equipment like autoclave.
  • Storage. Sterilized assembled sets are stored and accurately recorded, ensuring all sets are not outdated, and providing sterile supplies where needed.

DGSV (German Society for Sterile Supply), a certified organization of the International Association of Healthcare (IAHCSMM), through Aesculap Academy offers courses to improve knowledge and skills through training. The great thing about it is that in most countries like the Philippines, there’s always room for improvement with the current state of CSSD.  For the technician, it’s all about mastering their craft to achieve excellence.

The DGSV certification course combines Microbiology, Infection Control, and Reprocessing Cycle with workshops and practical tips for visual inspection, maintenance and function testing of surgical instruments, quality management (including a visit to Rankweil, Austria to appreciate an actual CSSD workflow), instrument management and documentation,  technical repair (with an onsite visit to Aesculap Technical Service), international norms on packaging and sterilization process, and an update of state of development of CSSD.

Huge thanks to the Aesculap Academy faculty who not only shared their expertise but also made the course look easy and fun. In reality, application of learned knowledge especially for new participants is quite challenging, but with constant practice and hands on experience, all that was learned is worth the while.

Enrique Castro, Jr., MD, obtained his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in St. Luke's College of Medicine. He is currently the manager of the Aesculap Consultancy Service (ACS), under the Surgical Technology division of B. Braun Medical Supplies, Inc.