Public Health Inspection Information|
The public trusts that electrologists are well trained and informed in the necessary functions associated with infection prevention & control. Not so, electrologists are unregulated in Canada and much of North America. However, self regulation is slowly being accomplished through professional organizations. The majority of electrologists still reuse their needles or may even try to sterilize them. Large numbers use the so-called and outlawed bead sterilizer, and some do nothing. Unfortunately, some electrologist associations and teaching centres in Canada support these unsanitary activities. For further information see Linda Edsell's article in International Hair Route May 1999, Sterilization, Disinfection and Infection Control. (Tel: 1-905-271-0339. Fax: 1-905-271-9748. Email: email@example.com) or the Infection Prevention & Control on-line articles written by Pauline Fallis
COPE National recognises that electrolysis is an invasive procedure, and has led the field in Canada, in promoting and mandating basic infection prevention & control procedures for their membership, long before provincial and national health standards existed. But the majority of electrologists do not belong or participate in a professional association. When inspecting the business premises, Health Inspectors should anticipate playing a major role as educators.
We are not suggesting how inspectors should do their job, but we would like to give them a guideline on how to approach this undertaking. It would be our suggestion that an inspection form is developed, to check off important points.
Comments to assist inspectors:
- Always make an appointment before visiting the business and book sufficient time to calmly and in a non-threatening manner, assess the practitioner's infection prevention & control knowledge and practices. Knowledge of how disease is spread and how the spreading can be stopped should be evident.
- Ask the electrologist to show you what procedures are implemented to meet the basic infection control standards.
- Make your assessment based on current knowledge and teach methods to enhance compliance to standards.
- Supply the electrologist with a copy of the Health Canada infection control guidelines and review it with them.
- Ask leading questions that may suggest unsafe practices eg, how many clients do you see a day? How many pairs of sterile forceps (tweezers) do you have? Do you have a steam sterilizer or a dry heat oven? If the number of clients exceeds the volume of forceps it would be safe to surmise that unsafe practices are occurring daily and that there is insufficient sterilizing time.
- Ask the electrologist to demonstrate the routine cleaning procedures, done between clients. For some reason the most important and only activity is to clean the treatment table? All surfaces touched with the gloved hand during the previous treatment should be cleaned thoroughly.
- How is the set-up prepared for the next client? Are gloves worn and later disposed? Are single use disposable needles used? Is a newly disinfected needle holder cap used? Is the tweezer (thumb forcep) sterile and appropriately packaged? When interrupted during the procedure, is the sterile needle left to dangle on the practitioner's chest? Here we are talking about basic aseptic technique and routine practices.
- Note hand hygiene, where and how it is done. How are instruments cleaned and packaged and stored? Check the biological spore tests used and the lab reports.
- Does the office set-up meet the documented standards eg, readily accessible hand washing and cleaning area? Is it clean and neat? Is the practitioner clean and neat? Clean, manicured nails are a good indicator of the standard of personal hygiene and grooming.
- The operator and employees should be vaccinated for Hepatitis B.
When leaving the office the inspector should feel that a positive impact has been made.
If any inspector or electrologist requires help, assistance or has comments to improve this information contact please COPE National and speak with Thecla Fenton at Tel: 1-780-448-0953 Fax: 1-780-448-0449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org