How We Clean in CT
I have had the privilege of working in the CT Division of Radiology at Cincinnati Children’s for 11 years. One thing I can tell you with certainty is that we care a great deal about infection control. We have signs displayed throughout the hospital that state “300 surfaces can be touched in just 30 minutes.” Initially this seemed mind-boggling to me, but after I gave it some thought, I could see how this was very true.
We are a very “hands-on” department. Many of our patients have never encountered a CT scan or peripheral IV before, and this experience can be very intimidating. We have supplies, iPads, and books that patients can touch and interact with to help ease them into the process. We encourage them to look at the stickers on our scanner and feel our table cushions. Regardless of a patient’s isolation status, we want everyone to have the same opportunity and experience in the CT scanner, so it is very important to us to maintain a clean environment for patients and hospital staff.
Sometimes you may see the technologists wearing yellow gowns, gloves, and masks. This may be to protect the patient from contracting an illness or to prevent the technologist from contracting an illness from the patient. The particular isolation status of the patient determines which wipes and cleaning agents we use to clean our room and supplies. After it is wiped down, it’s very important that the surfaces sit and dry for a full 3-5 minutes. This can sometimes create a delay when trying to bring the next patient into the scan room, but cleanliness is a top priority. Even with no isolation concerns, the room will be completely wiped down and a new sheet will be placed on the table after the cleaning agent has dried.
We have a close working relationship with our environmental services staff. They come through our department each day to clean the parts of our room that may not have direct patient contact, in addition to mopping the floors and removing the dirty linens and trash. The CT technologists deep clean our scanner and control room weekly to ensure all surfaces have been thoroughly disinfected on a regular basis. We scan 40 patients on an average day, and that’s a lot of people touching a lot of surfaces. So if you find yourself to be one of those 40 patients and families, please know that we are getting your room ready and clean before you enter and want you to have the best experience possible at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Contributed by Sara N Smith, (Advanced Tech – CT Scans) and edited by Janet Adams, (ADV TECH-US).