a. General. Assembling items for packaging is another important step to the
final product in CMS. During assembly you should reinspect and retest for functioning
prior to packaging. Individual articles are packaged as well as groups of articles. Sets
of instruments are assembled in the preparation area. These groups of articles are
called trays, sets, and packs. Local hospital policies will establish the requirements for
items to be packaged. Normally a checklist for each package is given in a Kardex
visible file (see figure 3-12 and figure 3-13). This card file contains a list of the required
articles and sometimes a picture of the articles to be included in the pack as well as the
location of each article in the pack. To assemble and package you should:
Follow the list of items to be included. Do not add items.
Place open wrapper or hand towel in bottom of perforated tray or pan.
Separate containers when more than one is in a package.
(4) Place any containers to be included within a tray so that they will be on
their side when placed in the autoclave.
(5) Open all instruments. (Box locks must be in open position for
penetration by the sterilizing agent.)
Disassemble items that have parts that require handling when used.
Separate the barrel and plunger of each syringe.
(8) Add moisture to cannulated items such as tubings, catheters, and
needles for moist-heat sterilization. (Cannulated items are tubes used within the body.)
(9) Place linen in such a manner that the steam can easily flow through. Do
not place extra linen materials in the tray. Hand towels should be packaged separately.
(10) Recheck the list of items to be included.
b. Assembling Linen Packs. Linen packs are designed so that the item to be
used first in the sterile pack is the last item placed on the pack. As you prepare the
packs, you should:
(1) Arrange the linen so that the alternate layers of linen are crossed to
promote free circulation of steam during sterilization.
(2) Place sponges in the center of the pack to break up the close contact
between more closely woven fabrics.