Controlled access to the sterilization areas
minimizes the potential for transfer of micro-
organisms between contaminated items, patients, and
staff. These areas must be off limits to anyone not
involved in the sterilization process.
Receiving and Cleaning
Ideally, these areas will be physically separate
from the remainder of the sterilization area. If physical
separation is not obtainable, proper outfitting and
equipment selection are critical. Commands should
purchase equipment that minimizes the handling of
contaminated materials and instruments. There may
also be an area equipped with the utilities necessary for
operating dental handpieces as shown in figure 10-2.
Some commands require that the disinfection,
cleaning, lubrication, and sterilization of dental
handpieces take place in the CSR instead of the dental
treatment room (DTR).
Check to see what your
commands policies are on where handpiece
maintenance should take place.
A processing space should have ample work
surface for the volume of materials processed. All
inspecting, sorting, wrapping, and packaging of
contaminated materials occur here.
The space requirements for the sterilization
process should be determined by the available size, the
degree of sufficient access for the loading and
unloading, and the ability to service the sterilizer.
Sterile Storage and Issue
To protect and maintain all sterile items, the
storage and issue areas should not be in the immediate
vicinity of the contaminated processing areas.
THE STERILIZATION PROCESS
The sterilization process takes place in a CSR.
There are many benefits to the centralized approach.
Centralized instrument decontamination and
sterilization are usually safer and more cost effective
than instrument processing in the DTR. The
Figure 10-2.Operating a dental handpiece in CSR.