The major difference between cleaning a medical facility and any other building is the focus on the un-seen enemy, bacteria. Environmental Service’s job is to not only provide good visible results, but to reduce the number of surface bacteria to a safe level in order to control cross infection. This is an extremely important responsibility because it keeps harmful bacteria from infecting the person next door or across the hall. Persons whose bodies are recuperating from surgery, injury or a primary infection are in a weakened condition and therefore, cannot put p their normal fight against harmful bacteria. A secondary infection in these cases can cause very serious illness.
Cleaning procedures are performed with a germicidal detergent which is designed to kill the most common kinds of harmful bacteria. This solution does not kill all of the bacteria, but reduces them to a safe level. The only way to kill all bacteria is to apply a very high temperature for long periods of time such as done in an autoclave.
Since many bacteria ride from place to place on dust particles, cleaning procedures are designed to prevent scattering of dust; therefore, damp-dusting and treated dust-mops are effective. Straw brooms for sweeping or feather dusters would scatter bacteria and are not used in healthcare facilities.
There are certain kinds of harmful bacteria that the germicide does not kill, but these are reduced to a safe level if proper procedures are used. The cleaning process is mainly a transfer of bacteria from one place to another. Bacteria are transferred from the surface being cleaned to your mop-head or micro fiber towel.
It is important to use solutions properly. Too much soap will leave a sticky residue or film, while too little will not clean properly. Always use your chemical dispenser and never mix chemicals yourself.
Always pick up trash inside the room to prevent bacteria from spreading to other areas. Covers should always be kept on trash barrels of cleaning carts.