Environmental Services: Taking on Impossible Tasks Every Day

by Sep 14, 2022Cleaning & Disinfection

It is Environmental Services Week – a time to recognize the teams of healthcare services professionals committed and dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting our healthcare facilities. And the truth is, this can be a near impossible task at times. The Healthcare Surfaces Institute sees you and hears you!

Controlled syringe pump

This trauma room is graphic. It also tells an incredible story. The professionals responsible for patient care have done their best to stabilize the patient and move them to the next stage of care. The Environmental Services (EVS) workers and whoever else also helps with room turnover are now faced with a daunting task. Look at the details of this picture. Do you see the blood splashed up the wall? Can you count the amount of equipment hanging from the headwall? All of which must now be cleaned and disinfected. The floor, the wall, the equipment, the cords, and the wheels of the carts. Could you do that job in 20 minutes? Sometimes there is even less time.

Let me complicate this story a bit more. Every device and material has instructions for use (IFU) and care and maintenance instructions. What disinfectant can be used? Do we use that disinfectant in this facility? Can we get it? If not, what can we use? Over 40 different IFUs exist in this room, and you must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

So, what do you do?

It comes down to priorities. Do your due diligence and get the room cleaned and disinfected, or do we have time to read the manuals and then gather the disinfectants together and clean the rooms? I can tell you – they do their due diligence using whatever they have. It is incredible to watch these teams work. The Healthcare Surfaces Institute supports all of you and commends you on your work. Not enough is given to these unsung heroes on the frontlines of defense against hospital-associated infections (HAIs), and they deserve a medal.

To all the Environmental Services professionals, I salute you! How can we support your success? By listening to and thanking these professionals for the work they do. And we can make changes that need to be made to support your ongoing effort to keep our healthcare facilities safe.

The Healthcare Surfaces Institute does not endorse any specific commercial product mentioned on or linked to by the Healthcare Surfaces Institute website. The views and opinions in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Healthcare Surfaces Institute.
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