The Work We Do: Central Sterile Techs At Brockton's Good Samaritan HospitalFebruary 21, 2019
Central Sterile Technicians (CSTs) are responsible for the decontamination, cleaning, sterilization, packaging, and distribution of surgical and medical supplies. At Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, MA, a department of 10 techs works roundthe- clock to ensure the safety and health of patients and staff. Good Sam CSTs handle all manner of surgical equipment—from clamps to pieces of surgical robots. The department also services a number of Boston-area hospitals, ensuring that some of the world’s most advanced medical care is performed in healthy and safe environments.
1. Service Tech Alex Carmona helps keep the central sterilization area organized and makes sure operating rooms have the equipment they need: “I work with the case pickers for each [surgical] case. They make sure the surgeons have what they need and the kinds of instruments they prefer. They really help us out because they can foresee what doctors are going to need so we can have it ready for them.”
2. Marsela Vrapi has worked at Good Sam for five years:
“These are instruments that come from all over the hospital—the OR, oncology, pharmacy, x-ray. We even get instruments from other hospitals. People don’t understand that what we do isn’t just washing things by dunking them in hot water. Different instruments require different procedures.
If instruments go upstairs with dirt or debris on them, they can be dangerous. We make sure everything that touches patients is clean and wrapped properly.”
3. Michael Duquette was an Army medic for six years: “I worked at the VA for two years, then applied to Brockton. Sometimes when I tell people what I do, they look at me like I have two heads. This work is kind of unique.“
4. Jose Zayas started in Good Sam’s Central Processing Dept. when he was 17; he’s been a Central Sterile Tech for six months: “You can have the best surgeons in the world working in a hospital, and if the instruments are dirty, none of that matters. We used to be viewed as glorified dishwashers, but [what we do] is an important process, and it must be done right. Every tech has to learn about the science [of sterilization] and the roles of the instruments we handle.”
5. Tony Rodrigues is a driver who works with the Patient Transport and Central Sterile Departments at Good Sam: “I go to different sites for pickup and delivery. We handle instruments from ORs at other hospitals.”
6. Ramon McIntosh started as an intern at Good Sam and has been working as a Central Sterile Tech for a year and a half.
1199 Magazine | January - February 2019