Carts and Trolleys
Instrument trolley or carts are one of the most simple, yet useful tools. They are lightweight, wheeled, pieces of equipment, that are usually easy to maneuver and come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. Some have drawers, while others have shelves, bins, and power outlets, and others have a combination of all of those features. They are also built with different kinds of materials. Some are constructed with steel and aluminum, others of wood, while others are built from PVC tubes. Stainless steel, however, is the most common in hospitals.
Carts and trolleys are mostly found in hospitals and healthcare facilities, where loads of supplies, tools, machinery, etc., needs to get around a lot, down long hallways, around corners, and off and on elevators. Also, life-saving equipment, usually propelled by running healthcare workers, has to get to a person in dire need rather fast.
The type of cart or trolley each individual purchases and utilises depends on the function for which they wish to use it, and sometimes their specialty. Take, for example, a Respiratory Specialist. Their trolley is made with PVC tubes and contains a special rounded section that holds a small oxygen tank, and its shelves are specifically spaced to hold their unique machinery. Then, there is the super important Crash Cart, which has a special hanger for a large oxygen tank, bins to hold life-saving instruments and supplies, and a special shelf to snugly carry the defibrillator.
The Instrument Trolley
The Instrument Trolley or Instrument Cart, as its name suggests, keeps vital medical instruments handy. Both the cart and the instruments it carries are made primarily of stainless steel because stainless steel is much easier to clean and sanitise. Some have drawers for the storage and transportation of sterilised instruments. They come in various heights and some have one shelf, while others have two or three shelves. Some are made specifically for certain professions and some are made for a specific use.
Certain healthcare professionals routinely use and/or like having stocked instrument trolleys readily accessible. They are:
- IV Techs: who keeps theirs stocked with equipment and utensils necessary for starting IVs.
- Gynecologists: who keep theirs prepared for internal exams and pap smear.
- Anesthesiologists: who use them to store tools to aid them in the administration of anesthesia.
- Ophthalmologists and LASIK Surgeons: who use them to store instruments to help correct vision.
There are also Instrument Trolleys made specifically for the certain professions, such as dentists, veterinarians, and hair stylists (other professionals use instruments, too).
Surgical Instrument Trolley
One important Instrument Trolley is the Surgical Instrument Trolley, which keeps all the surgical instruments readily available and arranged in a manner the surgical nurse can find immediately. That way, when the doctor asks for an instrument, the nurse can right away hand it over. Seconds are vital in the operating room.
There are extremely specific sterilisation procedures, obviously, for surgical instruments. Such reduces the possibility of patient infection, which could be deadly. Other procedures like hand washing, using facemasks, and scrubs are also intended to keep the area as sterile as possible.
There are specific job positions professions for individuals in hospitals and healthcare facilities to prepare sterile instruments and arrange them on the instrument trolley. They are usually called Medical Equipment Preparers or Sterile Reprocessing Technicians. In addition to sterilizing instruments and preparing trolleys, they also maintain instrument inventories and keep computer records. Candidates usually only need a high school diploma, the ability to read and write, and some computer know-how to qualify for the position. For more information please refer to our home page.