PROCESSING REUSABLE VAGINAL SPECULUMS PRIOR TO AUTOCLAVING *

Effective Date: 
Mon, 08/01/2011
Reviewed: 
Fri, 06/11/2021
Revised: 
Fri, 06/11/2021
Policy: 

All contaminated stainless steel vaginal speculums are processed using a safe and consistent method to insure that the disinfection/decontamination is thorough and of the highest standard.  All personnel handling contaminated speculums wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Procedure: 
  1. When a pelvic exam is anticipated, personnel (MA or RN) are responsible for setting out a proper receptacle for the clinican to place the metal vaginal speculum in post-exam.
  2. The clinician is responsible for placing the used metal speculum into the provided receptacle post-exam.
  3. Nursing personnel transport the used metal speculum to the 2nd Floor Utility Room and place it in the designated receptacle containing instrument detergent mixed according to manufacturer’s recommendation . The speculum remains in the detergent solution for the lengh of time designated by the manufacturer, or no more than 24 hours. The speculum is then scrubbed using a small nylon brush to remove any debris and rinsed well under running water.
  4. Each speculum is then visually inspected to insure that it is free of particulate matter and/or debris.
  5. Washed speculums are placed in the designated “CLEAN” drying rack to await autoclave procedure.
  6. The detergent solution in the designated receptacle is changed weekly, or more frequently if there is apparent particulate matter in the solution.