Latest news 21 March 2019 | When Aileen Derby started out as a sterile services technician in Te Kuiti Hospital 38 years ago, everything was done manually.
The cleaning and sterilising cycles were longer and there was nothing of the technology that is very much business as usual in the hospital environment today.
Now, she leads a 50-strong team of senior staff and technicians as the Manager of the Counties Manukau Health Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) ensuring reusable medical devices required for patient care procedures and major surgeries are thoroughly cleaned and sterilised.
“What we do actually affects all patients as everything we process in CSSD will be used in some manner to assist or help patients,” says Aileen.
The service, which has units based at Middlemore Hospital and Manukau Surgery Centre at the Manukau SuperClinic is tasked with making sure instruments are decontaminated, sterilised, packaged and distributed to operating rooms and clinical areas.
“We work to maintain a consistent standard for sterilisation and decontamination processes, starting at the door where visitors must put on a proper hair net, shoe cover and gown before entering the unit,” adds Aileen.
“Our staff are fully trained in all areas when they join the unit. They also study to become qualified technicians and receive on-going training and education for as long as they are a staff member in CSSD.”
Aileen is very proud of her team and the work they do.
“There is a lot of variety involved in our work, keeping up with the technology and ensuring that all our practices and processes comply with the relevant standards. We have a great team of senior staff and technicians who support each other to get the job done, and that’s one of the strengths of our team.”
*CSSD operates 24 hours, 7 days a week at Middlemore Hospital and 16 hours, 5 days per week at the Manukau Surgery Centre.