How would you choose to spend a bright June evening in a Dorset seaside resort? A few days ago a group of practice nurses and other medical pros decided to skip the beach to focus on their continuing professional development (CPD). They joined in the free workshop we organised around hygiene and the use and disposal of sharps.
The evening was organised by Medisave director Melissa Denton, who arranged for a number of product experts to give short presentations. Mel also prepared a fabulous spread of largely vegetarian food for everyone to help themselves to during the evening.
Handwashing and hand hygiene by Deb
First up was Deb from Deb! Debbie reminded us of the importance of handwashing in medical environments, highlighting the extremely useful ‘Five moments’ of hand hygiene identified by the World Health Organisation.
To prove that even experienced healthcare professionals find it hard to clean their hands thoroughly, Debbie asked for volunteers to give their hands a good scrub. Then she used a UV lamp to show us the sections that people had missed.
Having reminded us about the best handwashing techniques, Debbie explained the role of soap and water, along with hand sanitisers and moisturisers.
Deb, the company, was founded in the UK in the 1940s to sell a product that protected ladies silk stockings. It soon developed an antiseptic hand cleaner and introduced the first pump action dispensers. Today Deb aspires to be one of the world’s leading skincare companies that serves businesses and other organisations.
Scalpels and blades from Swann Morton
Now that we all had very clean hands, it was time to look at the scalpels and blades supplied by Sheffield-based Swann Morton. Steve from Swann Morton brought along a comprehensive display of implements that looked very sharp, but reassured us that all his demonstration blades were blanks.
Unsurprisingly, health and safety is a big deal for Swann Morton, as it is for everyone using scalpels and blades in healthcare. Steve demonstrated the correct techniques for changing a scalpel blade and highlighted the risks that come with, say, holding the scalpel the wrong way round. You don’t want to be flicking the used blade across the room or, if your grip slips, slicing your arm.
Steve also demonstrated a range of single use scalpels that eliminate the need for changing blades. Despite all the protective measures, the very sharp blades need to be exposed at some point in order to do their job. Being an observer of blade use in operating theatres, Steve was able to warn us about some examples of bad practice he’d helped people to correct.
Swann Morton was set up in Sheffield in the 1930s and continues to manufacture surgical blades to a very high standard. The entire company is a cooperative, meaning it’s owned by its employees. Amazingly, the company makes 1.6 million blades a day!
Disposing of sharps by Daniels Healthcare
Having washed our hands and had a go with a scalpel, it was now time to talk about the right way of binning sharp medical items. This was presented by Helen from Daniels Healthcare, who brought along a selection of bins to show us.
Along with demonstrating the correct techniques for setting up a bin, Helen gave us a useful reminder of the steps in the sharps disposal process. Incorrect process, she explained, can cause serious issues when picked up in healthcare procedure audits or investigations.
Some of those attending the workshop were able to share examples of good practice from their own workplaces.
Daniels Healthcare is also a UK company, specialising in the manufacture of polypropylene waste containers used for clinical waste in a wide range of settings. You’ll come across their bins in hospitals, GP surgeries, at the vets, and in other places where medical waste is created.
Medisave training supports healthcare CPD
Everyone attending our workshop in Weymouth had the opportunity to ask questions and have a go with the products being demonstrated. The evening made a valuable contribution to their continuing professional development and we supplied certificates to confirm this.
Would you like to hear about future workshops that we’re running in Dorset? To stay in touch with what we’re doing, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up to be notified by email – let us know you’re interested by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.