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A central sterile supply department (CSSD) supervisor is a member of a medical facility, usually a hospital or clinic, responsible for maintaining the facility's supply of sterile devices. The position, which generally involves the management and supervision of a staff, exists mainly in Britain and former British colonies. Many CSSD supervisors have experience in nursing.
The primary duty of a CSSD supervisor centers on keeping the facility's stock of sterile devices up to date. This means taking a regular inventory of stocks, identifying shortages and ordering new equipment when necessary.
Many CSSD supervisors receive a specific budget with which to maintain their supply of devices., requiring them to prioritize their needs and spend the funds accordingly.
CSSD supervisors must ensure the sterilty of the equipment in their charge. This includes evaluating equipment storage facilities and developing procedures to keep the equipment free of contamination.
CSSD supervisors are generally responsible for the actions of at least one staff member, usually known as a CSSD operator or CSSD technician. Supervisors assign duties to staff and monitor their performance. They may hire or fire employees, but this task may often fall on a CSSD manager.
In order to effectively track and monitor the facility's use of sterile devices, CSSD supervisors must keep diligent records. These records can inform the inventory process and serve as a guide for medical staff seeking to find out which equipment their department is currently deploying in what context.
In addition to ensuring that sterile devices remain free of contamination, CSSD supervisors will also often help identify and prevent other potential sources of infection in the facility, to which they bring related expertise.
CSSD supervisors will generally act as a liaison between their employer, the CSSD manager and their staff. This duty will include ensuring that staff understand and correctly implement relevant policies developed by higher-ups, as well as relaying concerns or questions in the opposite direction.
Reprocessing Medical Devices
Hospital staff can reuse and resterilize many devices after their use and contamination—generally performed as a cost-saving measure. CSSD supervisors must see to the proper cleaning of these devices to prevent infection.
Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.