Sarah Thomas

Hutt Valley DHB


New Zealand Aseptic Technique
It has been estimated that 10% of patients admitted to a hospital in New Zealand will develop a healthcare associated infection (HAI). These frequently relate to a procedure performed outside of theatre and so ACC was approached to help support a group of IPC professionals to standardise Aseptic technique education (thereby helping to prevention HAIs occurring) . The aim of the group was to develop a programme that could be used by any healthcare professional in any healthcare setting. After a review of established international programs and auditing of current practice it was found that a new approach would be needed and the working group developed a New Zealand specific Aseptic technique training package. This program is centred on 4 core principles of: Preparation, Key parts, Key sites and Advice. It incorporates a range of resources, auditing tool and teaching methods to help embed these principles into the practice of all healthcare workers who perform invasive procedures.  The program is about to be piloted in 4 hospital settings (public and private) and, once successfully trialled, ACC hope to support further implementation throughout New Zealand.

Sarah is a  is a member of the ACC Aseptic Technique Working Group and has been a  Clinical Nurse Specialist in Infection Prevention & Control at Hutt Valley DHB for the last 5 years and. Prior to this she has worked predominantly in the field of  acute medicine, in both clinical and education roles, here and overseas. Sarah has special interests in improving processes for Aseptic Technique and Prevention of Central Line Infections.  Originally from Dunedin (having graduated from Otago Polytech in 1998) she now lives in Lower Hutt with her husband and two children.

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