The Clean Team

EVS Clean Team Training

How do you kill pathogens that easily spread to others?

The Environmental Services (EVS) team and the surgical technicians in the operating room know exactly what to do — and they have the certification to prove it.

All EVS employees, including the morning and evening supervisors, have completed the Certified Health Care Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) programs and four OR technicians, including the evening supervisor, have completed the Certified Surgical Cleaning Technician (CSCT) program.

“The training makes us certified experts in the subject of cleaning and disinfecting exam rooms, medical surgery rooms, operating rooms, emergency department rooms,” said Shawn Richardson, Director of Nutrition & Environmental Services at APD. “Knowledge is key, and this knowledge gives us a well-deserved seat at the table. We are healthcare professionals alongside doctors and nurses.”

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The training doesn’t change how things are done — the room is still disinfected — but it does give the team the knowledge of why things are done: what pathogens are destroyed.

“In order to kill certain pathogens like C. Diff, we have to wipe down the surface with enough disinfectant so it stays wet for at least three minutes. This is called the dwell or kill time,” Richardson said. “All disinfectants have to sit anywhere from one to five minutes depending on what pathogens you are trying to kill.”

All current employees are certified and new hires will be required to complete the certification as well.

“We already do a great job of keeping everyone safe with our cleaning and disinfecting but this certification is another way we can help put patients at ease,” Richardson said. “Whatever environment patients visit at APD has been properly cleaned and disinfected.”

This isn’t just a one-time certification from the American Hospital Association. “It must be renewed every three years,” Richardson said. “There is continuing education we must do each year as well. It ensures we are staying up to date on all the proper techniques/materials to keep all of our patients, employees, and the community safe.”