Sterilization of Patient Care Items: The journey from cleaning to sterile storage

Rhoda Cooke, Dental Industry Specialist in Infection Prevention and Control


Effective reprocessing of patient care items is a critical step in creating a safe dental visit. As Dental Healthcare Professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure that the sterilization of patient care items meets industry standards. At the end of this presentation attendees will,

1. Understand the importance of the Infection Control Coordinator to the dental team.

2. Identify steps in instrument reprocessing.

3. Identify different methods of sterilization.

4. Identify ways to increase sterilization efficiency and monitoring.

5. Describe best practices for sterile storage.


Care must be taken to perform and monitor these duties consistently in a safe and efficient manner to prevent injuries and disease transmission by utilizing both work practice and engineering controls to achieve sterilization. 


Rhoda Cooke has been a Dental Hygienist for over 17 years and an infection control coordinator currently practicing in the evolving town of Falmouth, Trelawny.


She has earned the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification, Dental Industry Specialist in Infection Prevention and Control (DISIPC). The first and only infection control certification specifically for practice management professionals, a collaboration between the Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) and Dale Foundation.


She is passionate about preventative oral health and creating a safe dental visit for patients as well as staff.  Rhoda is accustomed to serving her community by doing oral health presentations in schools, volunteering as a Hygienist at outreach programs and extending her outreach within the private office setting to those in need while practicing as a Hygienist and an independent consultant in Infection prevention and control. She continues to bring awareness to safety and infection prevention standards in Dentistry by creating a safe dental visit for patients and a safer environment for the dental teams.