The idea and objective to establish and form an association for the sterilization services was mooted by a few of the sterilization staff who had the opportunity to attend the World Sterilization Conference held in Singapore in 1990. However after the Amsterdam Sterilization Conference 1995, the idea was put in action as it became more obvious that the active interaction, sharing of knowledge and experiences by attending such conferences, would not only benefit individuals but the patients and the country in general. The few CSSD nurses from Hospital Kuala Lumpur, University Hospital and Hospital Sg. Buloh came together and formed the Malaysian Sterile Service Association. With the encouragement, support not only from other local nurses but those from the world body and others and including that of the Ministry of Health, the drive and the urgency to establish the Association for the Sterile Services became the outmost priority.
The Association was initially organized under protem committee and headed by Pn. Wan Muji Wan Ngah, Pn. Hasnah Jalil (retired), Pn. Yeoh Saw See, Pn. Noormah Hashim and Pn. Rohani Ahmad.
The drive to quicken the pace to establish the Association was also on account of the Ministry Of Health not sponsoring and organizing seminars and education programs for those candidates that were interested in the sterile services and also the continuing education of those in the central service. It simply meant that there was no formal training and thus the upgrading in the sterile service so as to contribute to the improving patient care. It became more and more obvious that an association must be formed as those in the sterile service could see not the immediate problem but also the trends and potential problems that were coming not just within the central service but also the industry. Establishing an association is the only way to further educate and update the latest development in the sterile service field.
The Malaysian Sterile Service Association held its first unofficial meeting (protem committee) on the 2nd September 1995 and officially registered and approved by the Registrar of Society on the 26th January 1996. Initially only 38 members were registered but to date (December 2005) the Association had 527 members. 67 % those serving the government sector and 33 % from private hospitals.
The Association has also 29 members from Singapore and not forgetting the participation of those in the industry vendors or suppliers who became corporate members. Membership of the association is not only restricted to nursing staff serving the sterile service department but it includes the autoclave technician, operating nurse, infection control officers, microbiologist, engineers and doctors. Our membership is still growing.
The lacking of uniform standard and procedure in the sterile service, as an example there are hospitals and clinics that are still using the method of soaking or boiling to sterilize instrument. However, we know that such methods or practice does not entirely eradicate bacteria or germ.
There are no set standards of packaging method applied to wrap the procedures sets for sterilization and as a result it may affect the quality and sterility of the packed items. There are instances at various hospitals where sterilization principles were not followed due to the lack of knowledge of the sterilization process and procedures in the hospitals as the main objectives is cost saving. On such instances and situation, the lack of guidelines and standards may and cause infection to the patient and therefore prolonging the patients treatment in the hospitals and this will mean additional cost to the hospital and suffering to the patients.
In view of the range and scope of work attended by the personnel in the sterile service department it is vital that proper staffing be given. CSSD cannot be treated as unimportant by transferring personnel not with the right attitude, physical and mental conditions. In the sterile service departments the scope and jobs requires the disciplines besides the training. The right personnel and the proper training is important so the department could produce sets that are not only correct but properly sterilized not only 100% first time but every time. The right product, properly packed and properly sterilized will mean that the end user will save time, help reduced hospitals infection rate, cut hospital stay and reduce patients suffering.
Budget and Allocations
Doctors and nurses have to endure using old, blunt, cracked and loose surgical instruments due to lack of budget and allocation given to the sterile service department to purchase and replace the surgical items mentioned. Currently, there are many sterile service department still cleaning and washing surgical instruments manually because there are no allocations or budgets or priority given to the department to purchase high tech and automated machines that may directly and indirectly save cost. There are hospitals which do not have proper CSSD, whereby the user has to wash, clean and pack the items, sending the packed items to the autoclave room for sterilization resulting in no standard practice.
Quality of Commercially Produced Medical Devices
The standard for medical devices supplied by the industry is free for all and no control what so ever. It as recomended that comercially produce products be registered so that we can have products that meet the standard.
Future Manpower Requirement
In the future, that is in the next 3 - 5 years the sterile service departments will have shortage of manpower as the existing staff retires and this has got to be seriously looked into. The sterile service departments will have to adjust and change so as to cope to the shortage of manpower.
Even for such a young association it can boast of its membership strength from 38 to 600 and growing. It membership is not confined to Malaysia but also Singapore, Australia and Thailand. Sponsorship of its member to international seminars has been fruitful as they have been able on their return share their experiences and even organize "The Road Shows". This road shows where held in various part of the country and not only benefited the members but also non-members. In the MSSA AGM, Conference and Exhibitions, we have been able to bring in foreign speakers to share their knowledge and experiences and we were able to pass on the information via the road shows.
19th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition
"Join the Rush - Knowledge is gold" 13 April 2014 to 16 April 2014 Bayview Beach Resort, 11100 Penang, Malaysi [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
18th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference & Exhibition
"Sterilization - An Integrated Approach" 24 March 2013 to 27 March 2013 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
16th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference & Exhibition
"Excellence in Sterilization Services" 17 April 2011 to 20 April 2011 Bayview Hotel Langkawi, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia [ Conference Booklet (PDF File) ] [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
15th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference & Exhibition
"Moving With Time" 22 March 2010 to 25 March 2010 PNB Ilham Resort, Port Dickson, Sembilan, Malaysia [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
14th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference & Exhibition
"True Knowledge, Advocate Excellent Practice" 24 March 2009 to 27 March 2009 Riverside Majestic Hotel, 93756 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
12th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference & Exhibition 12 March 2007 to 15 March 2007 Le Meridian, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
11th MSSA Annual General Meeting, Conference & Exhibition 14 February 2006 to 17 February 2006 The Summit Hotel, Selangor, Malaysia [ Conference Details ] [ More information: www.mssa.com.my ]
Area: 329,750 km² (land: 328,550 km², water: 1,200 km²)
Population: 23,953,136 (July 2005)
Capital: Kuala Lumpur (Putrajaya is referred to as the administrative capital)
Language: Bahasa Melayu (official), English, Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai; in East Malaysia several indigenous languages are spoken, the largest are Iban and Kadazan
Religion: Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Christian, Sikh; in addition, Shamanism is practiced in East Malaysia
Climate: Tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +8hrs
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit [MYR]
Malaysia is in Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam. With a total of 2,669 km land boundaries and 4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East Malaysia 2,607 km) coastline, Malaysia shares borders with Brunei 381 km, Indonesia 1,782 km and Thailand 506 km.