QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR CSSD(Central sterile service department) CANDIDATES
A-Basic technical section
1. Descibe about CSSD or what do you know about CSSD?
The central sterile supply department centralises the sterile processing activities, in which reusable medical devices, surgical instruments and equipments are processed and issued for patient care procedures. The aim of the CSSD is reduce hospital acquired infection level to zero.
2. Explain types of sterilization
Two types of sterilization methods are available.
Chemical and physical. Physical methods include heat and radiation. Chemical methods include Eto, ozone, hydrogen peroxide (plasma), ortho-ophthalaldihyde, ethanol etc
3. What is the deference between disinfection and sterilization?
Sterilization is the destruction of pathogenic organisms with its spore forms. Disinfection does not destruct spores.
4. Which sterilization method is suitable for plastic items?
Eto or plasma.
5. How can you identify sterile and unsterile items?
With the help of chemical indicators we can identify sterile and nonsterile items.
6. How many types of indicators are available?
Two types, chemical and biological.
7. What is the purpose of a Bowie Dick test?
Bowie Dick test (DART-dynamic air removal test) is checking prevaccum autoclave’s air removing ability and steam penetration.
8. Which are the protective measures taking in a contaminated area (cleaning area)?
Cap, mask with eye shield shoe cover, gown and gloves
9. How you will clean fine and cannulated instruments?
Cannulated and fine, micro instruments are cleaning by the help of ultrasonic machine.
10. What is a rapid or flash sterilizer?
Rapid or Flash sterilizer using to manage emergency conditions upon demand.
Within 25mnt we can issue sterile items.
11. Which are the parameters of commonly used autoclave cycles?
A.Temparature-121 ⁰c, time-15mnt, pressure-1.1bar
B.Temparature-134⁰c, time-7mnt, pressure-2.1bar
12. How you will check a load before starting an autoclave?
a. Check the autoclave as it is in a proper working condition.
b.Confirm an air removal test was done on the machine that morning.
C.Arrange all items in a proper way. Do not overload. Keep space between sets. Remove any items not tolerating steam.Hevier items should be placed down.
d.If there is an implant set keep a biological indicator with the load.
E.Check sterile, expiry, lot number and labels for each set.
f.Select a suitable cycle and start the machine.
13. Do you know the time and temperature of disinfection in thermal washer disinfectors?
Yes. It’s depends on the machine and type of cycle.
90⁰c for 5 to 7 mnt and 80 to 87⁰c for 20 mnt in GETINGE washer disinfectors.
B-Advanced technical section
1. Explain the cycle of sterile supply or functional flow of a CSSD
A.Recieving contaminated items to the CSSD
b.Disassembling, cleaning and disinfection
c.Inspection, assembling and tray setting
2. What is the deference between gravity displacement and prevaccum autoclave?
In gravity displacement autoclave the steam itself is used to remove air from the chamber at first phase of sterilization.
In other hand prevaccum autoclave, a vacuum pump is used to remove air.
3. What is the important of instruments inspection and checking in the packing area?
A missing or falling of instrument while performing a surgical procedure is the annoyance for any surgeon. It can be the cause of great problems for the patient as well as the staff performing a surgery or procedure. It is there for essential that instrument trays for all procedures are complete and that each instrument works correctly. That’s why each instrument is subjected to a vigorous inspection and that each tray should be double checked for completeness.
4. What do you know about Eto?
Eto is a colourless poisons gas. Its smell is similar to ether in high concentrations. The gas is capable for destroying all microorganisms with spores as a sterilant. It is noncorrosive, nondamaging to plastics and rubber items.
Ethylene oxide gas is highly dangerous to living beings. May be fatal if inhaled in high concentrations. Causes eye and skin burns. May cause nervous system damage. Cancer and reproductive hazards may occur.
5. Explain precautions for loading ETO sterilizer.
Give extreme care to handle Eto catridge.Use gloves and mask with eye shield.
6. What is a plasma sterilizer?
Plasma sterilizer is a cold sterilizer using hydrogen peroxide as sterilant.
7. What is a biological indicator?
Biological indicators are used to confirm autoclave’s killing efficiency indipedantly.Typicaly this devices have a self contained liquid growth medium and growth indicator (bacteria).
8. Which bacteria are used in the biological indicators for steam sterilizer and Eto machine?
Geo Bacillus stearothermophilus for steam sterilizer and Bacillus Subtillus for Eto machines.
9. What is the difference between vegetative bacteria and spores?
All bacteria that are actively growing, metabolizing and reproducing are vegetative bacteria.
When essential nutrients are depleted, certain bacteria are capable of forming different layers of walls around them, enabling to survive in adverse conditions as Endospores (Spores)
10. There is a gas leakage in Eto machine. What you will do?
Evacuate the area and keep inhaled person upwind. Shut off all sources of ignition. Use self contained breathing apparatus and protection clothing and shut off leak if without risk.
1. Why you leaving your current job? Or why you want to join with us?
(This is the common question everybody faced and getting trouble to give answer. Here are some tips to give answer:
•Never speak poorly about your current (Previous) employer. This question is an opportunity to sell yourself, not air your dirty laundry.
•Always consider what the job requires, and think about an answer that contrasts what your previous company didn’t have but this current job does.(put your reason for leaving in the best light possible)If you are looking to move form a 200 bed hospital to 800 bed hospital, you might say “I would like to get an experience in a super speciality hospital, and I hope to enrich my knowledge and experience here. “Or “I want to move up my career”
•Don’t say you want to leave your current job because you are not earning enough. More money is not the answer they want to hear. There are simple reasons you can tell, location of your hospital (so far from house), family matter or better opportunity etc
•Really the best practice is always being honest, such as “my hospital really didn’t have innovative opportunities that I was seeking.”
•It is not that they really care about this answer .It’s more of a “will this person trip over themselves, badmouth his former employer, or give out too much information to screen themselves out. So don’t do any of that.
•”I am really looking for a new challenge at an innovative hospital”
•Keep in mind, the answer should be positive and make the reason for leaving a constructive one such as a new challenge, exciting opportunity, increased responsibility or learning possibility.
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
(When responding to this request, you should focus on both your personal and professional values. Always be honest, but talk about your best traits only, especially those that relate to the position you are applying. Highlight your experience.)
“I am an experienced CRCS technician with extensive knowledge in surgical procedures. I had developed a wide range of skills that would meet and exceed the expectations for the role. Graduate and diploma in CSSD and passed certified registered central service technician(CRCST) course by Purdue university USA.It is a internationally recognized certification by IAHCSMM,USA.I am always eager to learn new methods and procedures.
I like working with a team and enjoying group activities, but I am also a self-starter who doesn’t mind working on my own. I have a certificate of ‘the technician of the year 2005’ from past employer. I am extremely enjoying my work and considering as a warrior fighting against infection and feel proud of it.”
2. What is your greatest strength?
(This is the greatest chance to highlight your best skills. Don’t pick just one, focus on your top three or four.)
“I am good at team spirit, prioritization and time management. But my greatest strength is the ability of fast learning on new methods.”
3. What is your greatest weakness?
(Be careful with this one. Most interview guides will tell you to answer it with a positive trait disguise as a weakness. For example, “I tend to expect others to work as hard as I do,” or “I am a bit of perfectionist”. Interviewers have heard these “bottled” answers over and over again. To stand out, be more original and state a true weakness, but then emphasize what you have done to overcome it.)
“I’ve had trouble with communication skills. This has sometimes backfired because I couldn’t pass my concepts to my superiors properly. But I have taken courses in communication skills and personality development, and I feel I’ve overcome this weakness.”
4. Have you ever had to discipline a problem employee? If so how did you handle it?
(This is a likely question if the position for which you are applying requires supervisory duties. Explain how you used problem-solving skills, listening skills and coaching skills to help the employee. If those techniques turned the employee around, be sure to say so. If those techniques failed, tell how you followed the hospital’s policies and what the end result was.)
5. Which do you consider more valuable? Formal education or skills and why?
Both, because knowledge and skills always with me and I can perform my job independently at anywhere.
6. Describe the benefits of working within a team?
It is more valuable, because we can share our knowledge and skills. Mutual understanding, honest and commitment to work will create a strong bond between the staff and create a good output.
7. Do you like to work alone? Why?
Yes, sometimes.Working alone is quiet lonely without any disturbance.
8. What was your worst working experience?
Sometimes if there is injustice in work.
9. What is the most important lesson you have learnt throughout your career.
(This answer will be from our personal experience.so please prepare for it independently)
Example:”as long as there is no unity and mutual understanding among staff, we can’t achieve the goal, values and can’t maintains standard or quality in work”
10. What unique skills you have?
(Be honest with this answer. Analyse yourself and find out your unique skill)
“Good relations among staff and ability to work in all areas of department.”
11. What is the most interesting aspect of your field of work?
In all aspects of work and maintain working standards in practical work.
12. What are the least interesting aspects of your field?
13. What are the basic duties of a CSSD technician?
Receive, decontaminate, sorting, packaging, sterilization and distribution of surgical instruments and medical equipments. Also maintaining good relation among staff within CSSD and other department like OR, ICU, Lab etc.
Questions you should ask
Often the interviewer’s last question is, “Do you have any questions for me”? Candidates who do not have questions show a lack of initiative and give the impression that they have minimal interest in the position. Stand out from those lazy job seekers by asking questions!
Have your questions ready in advance. Relate them to the hospital or CSSD.You can ask about brands of autoclaves and other machines or duty hours.
Do not ask questions related to you, such as “when will I be eligible for my first raise”? Or “how often will I subjected to a performance review”? Don’t bring up money. (You can ask that after you are getting the job!)
(Referances:Section A and B-Sterilization of Medical Supplies by Steam, Volume 1 General Theory - Second Revised Edition, Section C –Collected from internet)