New Sinks Clean Up Health Risks

Sterile processing team members pose with new sink
Sterile processing team members pose with new sink

New ergonomic decontamination sinks were recently installed in the Ortho and Main sterile processing areas at Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham. The sinks are used to remove contamination from instruments used in surgical procedures. Each sink has three soaking compartments and integrated water/air nozzles for cleaning.

“The pandemic illuminated the amazing dedication of several supporting departments that often operate unnoticed, working behind the scenes to ensure our patients have access to reliable care,” said David Edwards of The Resource Group. “It also gave us the opportunity to reflect on the historic flow of activity(ies) and the equipment these teams interface with daily in support of our caregivers and patients.”

As Edwards and his team observed sterile processing technicians using the old sinks, the need for ergonomically designed equipment became apparent. They saw people of heights ranging from 5’3” to 6’5” using the same fixed-height sinks. Making the process even more uncomfortable, what they were cleaning weighed up to 25 pounds each. The risk for on-the-job musculoskeletal injuries was great.

“The inability to adjust the sink height to the optimal level for each individual was introducing additional physical taxation on our team members.”

“The inability to adjust the sink height to the optimal level for each individual was introducing additional physical taxation on our team members,” Edwards said. “But through the support of our Foundation and the generosity of community donors, we were able to upgrade our sinks to ergonomically focused units that reduce the physical stress that our team members experience each day.”

The installation of the sinks required varying degrees of construction and retrofitting of plumbing, which would have posed a significant expense in addition to the cost of the new sinks. However, a generous in-kind donation from Brasfield & Gorrie provided installation services.

“We are grateful for partners like Brasfield & Gorrie that are willing to help fulfill needs by donating supplies and services,” said Andy Bell, president and chief development officer of Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation. “Not only do these gifts free up money on our end for meeting other needs, in-kind is often an easier, more affordable way for donors to give. Everybody benefits.”

In-kind donations provide non-financial giving options for some donors and can help nonprofits stretch resources while meeting needs. Call 205-558-3850 to learn more.

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