“In the next few years, about 30 percent of our current staff members in this department will be retiring,” says Susan MacKinnon, Manager of the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. “We need to start gearing up to replace them.”
There are 42 Medical Device Reprocessing Technicians working at the QEH at present. Three other PEI hospitals employ MDPTs:
• Prince County Hospital has six to eight Technicians
• Kings County Memorial Hospital has one Technician
• Western Hospital has one Technician
After a procedure done in the Operating Room, in Ambulatory Care, or in Emergency, the surgical instruments are returned to the SPD to be properly cleaned, disinfected and sterilized, ready for re-use.
“Staff play a big role in infection control. If we do not clean and disinfect the instruments properly, patients will get sick. Our main focus is patient safety” says MacKinnon.