Diane: "This is one of those jobs that no one really knows exists. We are responsible for the sterilizing of thousands of instruments that are used in the hospital. The work can be intense and stressful. It’s fast-paced with a multitude of demands when all the hospital theatres are working. Our department is a very important part of the hospital.
I like knowing that I’m doing something important for patients. I love overseeing the team and the adrenalin buzz of this work - there is often pressure of time and the need to juggle priorities.
Sterilising requires strict quality control and an efficient electronic monitoring and tracking system. Here, we work to the gold standard (AS 4187). There are forty staff, twenty of whom have been here for twenty plus years. They are highly professional.
We rely on teamwork. The safety of our patients is paramount. We have a big responsibility to make sure each instrument is working properly, sterilized thoroughly and placed in packs ready for the surgeons to use. Great concentration is required. It’s very rewarding. I try not to make mistakes, but when I do I learn from them. Our team is made up of good people. We work hard and we have fun together."
Barbara: "I’ve been here for ten years. It’s a friendly team and we distribute supplies throughout the hospital, so we mix with staff on the different wards. When it’s busy others come to help, so I feel very supported by the team.
I like the variety in this work. We change the wards we work with every couple of years. In that way we get to know other people around the hospital. When you get the products to the nurses they really appreciate it, and the patients get what they need. We are also given shares in recognition of our work for the company that owns the hospital."
Chaitali: "I have a Masters degree in Botany, in plant tissue culture. I did a sterilizing course and moved to CSSD. There is a lot of knowledge involved. We work closely with the nurses, and have to understand the supply and demand ratio as well as instrument sterilization processes.There are different people working here. We work as a team and that makes it better for the patients and the surgeons."