Decontamination Science

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Decontamination Science

This course is aimed at providing upgrading and continuous professional development training for an area required in hospitals such as, for example, the central sterile supply department at Mater Dei Hospital. The course has been designed to provide the necessary theoretical knowledge and to develop personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in the said role.

This course leads to an Award, (and is hence not a full qualification). It is recognised as a continuous professional development award at MQF level 3 (4 ECVET credits). The Department of Health may require additional qualifications alongside this award for eligibility to apply for posts in this area. The course introduces interested parties to the subject of Decontamination, but does not on its own render successful candidates eligible to apply for posts or promotions with the Department of Health.

This is a 40 hr guided learning course. Students need to invest further hours in the course, which will include private study and home assignments.

Lessons are held as indicated on the prospectus and website.

The lectures focus on the process of decontamination and on how participants learn to be accountable for what they are performing.

It also enables learners to understand the science behind the decontamination processes and the norms associated with the EU standards.

Learning Outcome 1: Follow Quality Assurance Procedures used in decontamination science

Unit Content

  • Learn quality assurance methods used to render the medical devices safe for the patient
  • Learn to be accountable for each step taken to ensure that the medical devices are packed by a specific person using the personal barcode system
  • Learn to do the necessary daily tests prior to performing the barrier system
  • Learn to inform the supervisor or manager about missing parts from a complete operation pack by using “Non-Conformance Reports”

Learning Outcome 2: Distinguish between medical devices and the level of hygiene required for each of these devices based on the risk assessment associated with contaminated medical devices

Unit Content

  • Learn which items require cleaning, disinfection and ultimately sterilization
  • Learn the specific methods of identifying what cleaning and disinfection equipment is used to render contaminated medical devices safe for use by the members of staff who are handling them and the patient
  • Learn to distinguish medical devices that can suffer heat liability and get damaged and therefore, learn to avoid such instances
  • Choose between heat liable medical devices and others
  • Priorities between medical devices required urgently in the operating theatres
  • Learn how to provide a safe environment for the medical devices to get to the “point of use” remaining sterile throughout

Learning Outcome 3: Describe different methods of providing a microbial barrier to the medical devices in preparation for the sterilization process

Unit Content

  • Reusable barriers
    1. Paper, Bags, Non Woven Material and others
  • Non Reusable Barriers
    1. Aluminium Containers
    2. Stainless Steel Trays
  • Different microbial barriers according to medical item being prepared

Learning Outcome 4: State various methods of sterilizing equipment used in hospitals

Unit Content

  • the processes of rendering medical devices micro-organism free and therefore, safe for the intended use
  • Steam sterilization under pressure
  • Combination of steam and formaldehyde
  • perform tests to verify the efficiency of the sterilizing medium
  • how to place medical devices to have the maximum sterilizing effect
  • Verification that the sterile medical devices are sterile and how to store them until needed. 

The following are the suggested pre-requisites and/or entry requirements needed; 


  • Completed Primary & Secondary Compulsory Education                  

Entry Requirements:

  • Spoken and Written English       

Course participants may be awarded either an MCAST Certificate of Attendance or an MCAST Certificate of Achievement.

MCAST Certificate of Attendance

  • An MCAST Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those candidates who attend at least 80% of the lessons.

MCAST Certificate of Achievement

  • An MCAST Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to those candidates who satisfy the 80% attendance criteria and also choose to sit and pass the course assessment/s.

Students who opt not to sit for the assessment or fail (the assessment/s) will however be awarded the MCAST Certificate of Attendance provided that they fulfill the minimum attendance criteria as stated above.

If the student intends to obtain a Certificate of Achievement, she/he is required to sit for an assessment/s.  Assessment/s may take various forms such as a home assignment, class assignment, practical test and time constrained test.  However, the assessment/s is not compulsory and an applicant may choose not to sit for it.

There are no additional costs or special materials/equipment to bring.

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