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Importance of Training in Medical Waste Handling

medical waste training

It’s vital that healthcare employees who are responsible for handling hospital waste are properly trained. This is necessary for their own safety as well as for the safety of the patients, public and the environment. Unfortunately, accidents occur all too frequently resulting in both infection and pollution.

Staff need to be taught to separate the hospital waste at source to save costs and prevent accidents. Sharps need to be disposed of separately to soiled linen, for instance. A head doctor, head nurse or hospital manager can be appointed in charge of such training, and this can in turn be delegated to other members of a team. Alternatively, the training can be outsourced to a private company. An effective waste management plan needs to be put in place and all employees taught the importance of adhering to it.

It’s not sufficient that staff know how to dispose of hazardous waste materials like sharps. They also need to know how to clean up after a hazardous spill. For instance, if a patient bleeds on the floor they need to know what to use to clean it up and where to discard it.

There also needs to be strict compliance with government regulations. These are often implemented through unions and safety boards, as well as the individual healthcare company or employer. If any business is found to be in violation of these regulations, hefty fines can ensue, and operations can even be shut down in certain cases. Proper onsite training is a worthwhile investment for healthcare facilities.