In electrology, your instruments are all important. Without them you can not practice your profession. They must be handled and reprocessed so that they are safe for the client and yourself. Sterilized instruments must be used for all clients.
All instruments must be cleaned before disinfection or sterilization. Soil acts as a protective barrier to microorganisms so that disinfectants are less effective and sterilization may not take place. Cleaning removes not only the soil but large numbers of microorganisms in soil thus improving the effectiveness of both the disinfection and sterilization process. Handling Instruments must be handled carefully both when used and when reprocessed. All the instruments used in electrology are delicate, since they are used to do fine work. Your forceps (tweezers), probes etc. are considered delicate and must be processed as such. Take care not to drop them as they can be damaged easily. For instance, the points or tips on forceps can be bent making them useless in your practice. Have all instruments that are not in working order repaired or disposed of as an instrument that is damaged or doesn't work is useless even though it may be sterile. Protection When handling soiled instruments always wear household rubber gloves. If you are concerned with splashing of blood or other matter wear a plastic apron, and eye protection. To protect yourself from microorganisms in the air as you are scrubbing instruments, wear a mask. Soaking After an instrument is used place open into a container containing clear cold water or water with an enzymatic detergent. This will soften any protein material like blood for easier cleaning. Do not use a disinfectant solution as a holding or soaking solution, as most disinfectants will solidify protein material like blood and make it more difficult to remove. Any instruments that have several parts must be taken apart before cleaning. Manual Cleaning When manually cleaning instruments use a warm mild detergent solution. Scrub all instruments with a brush making sure that all serrations or hinges are clean. Do all scrubbing under water to prevent aerosolizing the microorganisms. Rinse well in running water. It is as important to rinse well as to wash with detergent. Dry the instruments well. Mechanical Cleaning When mechanically cleaning with a sonic cleaner, use the detergent recommended by the manufacturer. A sonic cleaner requires a low sudsing detergent. A sonic cleaner works by passing sonic waves through the detergent solution forming air bubbles which enlarge until they implode pulling the soil away from the surface of the instrument. This puts the soil in suspension in the detergent solution and frequently leaves a film on the surface of the instruments. Rinse the instruments well to remove this film of soil. Dry the instruments well before processing further. Packaging As the instruments for the use in electrolysis must be sterilized between clients and not necessarily sterile at the time of use, except for the needles, any packaging is for dust protection only. There are special sterilization bags available to package any instruments for steam or dry heat sterilization. Specify to your supplier which you require. The use of reusable needles is not recommended. Remember, only clean open (hinged) instruments will be successfully sterilized as steam sterilization is a surface sterilization process and only sterilizes the surface of the soil and protects the microorganisms contained within. Soil makes the dry heat sterilization process more difficult. Wash, rinse and dry all instruments before sterilization.