Who Cleans Emergency Rooms?
An Emergency Room is a very critical section of a health facility. They handle all manner of ailments ranging from the small to the very serious and life-threatening ones. Given the seriousness of the procedures that are conducted in these rooms, it is important that they are cleaned at all times to avoid any contaminations and infections that could endanger the lives of the patients and staff. So who exactly cleans Emergency Rooms? Well, this Bellaire ER post will help you understand who cleans the Emergency Rooms and how they do it.
The cleaning role in an Emergency Room is mainly the work of a Janitor, although nurses play a part too. Most Emergency Rooms have enough janitorial staff to ensure that the nurses can focus on taking care of the patients that are always streaming in. In terms of cleaning, there are three main categories: the Room turnover, the Terminal clean, and the cycle clean. The main purpose of the janitors in these three categories is to ensure that the environment in the Emergency Room is as clean as possible to reduce chances of possible cross-contamination between the admitted patients and the Emergency Room Employees.
The Room turnover basically deals with the cleaning of high touch areas using wipes that are alcohol-free. The staff working in this section do the cleaning regularly to ensure that patients are not contaminated, as this are areas they are likely to get in contact with. The terminal clean also involves the cleaning of high contact areas. The janitorial staff, in this case, cleans the areas with dust and squat. They are also in charge of cleaning the hospital floors and ensuring that there are no moist surfaces on the floor that could lead to injuries. This type of cleaning is done at least once in every 24 hours. The cycle clean deals with cleaning the walls, ceiling and fixtures. The staff in this category handle the cleaning of the curtains and the window and door glasses. They also do floor scrubbing and reapplying of poly. It is recommended that this type of cleaning be done at least once every year, but Emergency Rooms can conduct a cycle clean as many times as they need to within shorter time intervals.
The first step is usually disinfecting the janitorial staff and wearing protective clothing. The janitors have to clean themselves up then wear the cleaning gown or overall and hand gloves to avoid getting into contact with any contaminated substances. It is also quite important to have the appropriate footwear when doing the cleaning especially if you are to come into contact with fallen needles and broken pieces of glass on the floor.
For room turnover cleaning, any item with visible soil is to be cleaned first to remove the soil before being disinfected. You can disinfect the items immediately after cleaning them as no dry time is required. The procedure for disinfecting items in the ED room involves removing dirty linen and wiping the mattress with at least three AF wipes. The cart handles and the rails have to be wiped and disinfected thoroughly. Other items in the room like the monitor cables, the counter tops, the computer keyboard and the chairs used by visitors have to be wiped and disinfected too. The same process is followed when cleaning isolation rooms.
For stab room cleaning where there are large volumes of blood and body fluid involved, quat and microfiber cloths are used to wipe the blood and fluid as opposed to disposable disinfectant wipes. The procedure for cleaning is the same as for room turnover, only that the cleaning has to be done with extra care especially on the equipment in the room.
Patient care equipment cleaning
There is equipment that can only be used for one patient. Some of this equipment includes EKG machines, the Doppler, thermometer, portable cardiac monitors, bladder scanners, mayo stands, nitrous machines and bedside tables. Such equipment has to be wiped and disinfected after use. The cleaning and disinfection has to take place at least once between two patients.
Proper disposal of non-reusable items like the used needles is also an important part of the cleaning process. The needles have to be collected in the correct trash cans or boxes and properly disposed. The dirty linens, after being removed from the ER, are also supposed to be cleaned and disinfected before re-using them.
An Emergency Room ought to have an adequate number of cleaning janitors to facilitate efficiency. Much of the cleaning work should be off the hands of the nurses since the increased contact between nurses, and contaminated substances may lead to them being contaminated and cause further infections for patients that they handle. Other than Emergency Rooms having enough janitorial staff to handle the cleaning, the staff should be divided into specific groups that handle specific sections in the Emergency Room. Each of the groups should be well-trained and skilled in Emergency Room cleaning procedures for the specific sections that they will be cleaning.