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1 – Unit 18: Cleaning, Decontamination and Waste Management

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1.1 State the general principles for environmental cleaning

One of the essential parts of infection prevention and control is environmental sanitation, which cannot be emphasised enough. It prevents the transmission of dangerous germs and is the first line of defence against infections in the healthcare setting. Due to the significant role environmental cleaning plays in infectious prevention programmes in healthcare facilities, environmental cleaning should be made mandatory. Programs should be in place to support good cleaning practices and should include strategies to optimise product use, technique, audit, and feedback, as well as education of cleaners and communication.

The general principle for environmental cleaning state thus:

  • Cleaning should be carried out regularly and thoroughly to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Cleaning agents should be selected based on their ability to effectively remove the type of soil present in the environment.
  • Cleaning should be performed in a way that minimises the spread of contaminants and prevents cross-contamination.
  • Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn by those performing the cleaning to protect against exposure to potentially harmful substances.
  • Proper disposal of cleaning materials and waste should be carried out to prevent environmental contamination.
  • The effectiveness of the cleaning should be regularly monitored to ensure that the environment is being adequately cleaned and disinfected.

It is crucial to regularly clean the region with a microfiber system or a liquid detergent. In order to lower the number of germs in the area, it is essential to remove all organic debris, dust and motes and then expose the area to sunshine while maintaining proper ventilation. The frequency of cleaning should be as high as possible. This principle’s basic tenet is that in order to stop the spread of infection, healthcare facilities must be kept as clean as possible.

Other answers in the full document:

  • 1.2 Explain the purpose of cleaning schedules
  • 1.3 Describe how the correct management of the environment minimises the spread of infection
  • 1.4 Explain the reason for the national policy for colour coding of cleaning equipment
  • 2.1 Describe the three steps of the decontamination process
  • 2.2 Describe how and when cleaning agents are used
  • 2.3 Describe how and when disinfecting agents are used
  • 2.4 Explain the role of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the decontamination process
  • 2.5 Explain the concept of risk in dealing with specific types of contamination
  • 2.6 Explain how the level of risk determines the type of agent that may be used to decontaminate
  • 2.7 Describe how equipment should be cleaned and stored
  • 3.1 Identify the different categories of waste and the associated risks
  • 3.2 Explain how to dispose of the different types of waste safely and without risk to others
  • 3.3 Explain how waste should be stored prior to collection
  • 3.4 Identify the legal responsibilities in relation to waste management
  • 3.5 State how to reduce the risk of sharps injury

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