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January 26, 2008

as it turns out our autoclave at work keeps overflowing and leaking because it has not been properly maintained.  when i told my boss that it was not working right and i had to call a repairman, she was pissed, she went into a whole rant about it.  but really it is nobody’s fault because the two women we have running the machine now were trained by someone who didn’t know what to do with it.  how would they figure it out?  the autoclave is about 30 years old, and everyone that started working in medical assisting have learned on with new machines in other offices.

anyway, the autoclave has a switch labeled  “fill/vent”  and it does both.  who knew??  when the chamber is empty switching it will fill it with water.  if the chamber is full it will vent the steam.  the assistants had never vented the machine.  oops.  who knew.  a great service tech (he works independently, and i am pretty sure he is a super genius) fixed it and gave us all a little lesson.

when i told the assistants that as soon as the repair guy was finished fixing it her would go through all the proper usage and maintenance for us.  they started moaning and groaning “oh, we know what to do.” and “ugh, we didn’t break it.”  i told them “i don’t care.  we are all going to watch and listen.”  i figured at least then i could tell bossy that yes, they certainly do know how to use the autoclave.  we all gathered around the machine, no sooner did the repair guy utter his first sentence when the assistants started saying “i didn’t know that” and “we were wondering what that did.”

this mysterious switch that says “fill/vent” had never been used by our current staff to “vent.”  the only problem now is when the chamber is vented it makes all kinds of loud noises, that can best be described as the black-smoky thing on the lost island that they are running from all the time.

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