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Except that I don’t.

Weird, huh?

So, as you know, I’ve been working over at Clib.  In particular, I’ve been helping out with their facility expansion.  Not so much helping them build in the physical building, although that probably would have been fun.  No, I’ve been helping out more with the controls and automation side of their facility expansion.  You know, the engineer-y stuff.

So anyway, things have been coming along.  It’s the typical push and shove world of working for a client.  But now, we’re getting closer to the end of the project.  The physical building has been completed and no longer has the “under construction” status.

That’s nice.  Because when it was supposedly “under construction” (and it had been a finished building for months while it was still “under construction”), I had to wear a high visibility vest, a hard hat, safety glasses, and steel toed boots.  Steel toed boots weren’t a problem.  I normally wear them anyway.  But the high visibility vest, hard hat, and safety glasses were annoying.  Especially when I wasn’t doing anything more than looking at a computer screen and sometimes poking my hands into an electrical panel (which has its own safety gear requirements, but we’ll talk about that some other time).  I was the safest computer user ever, guys.  EVAR.

Anyway, to continue, the building is no longer “under construction.”  PPE requirements have been dropped down to just safety glasses and steel toed boots.  Ok, I can live with that.  The glasses are still annoying.  But now that we’re getting closer to the end of the project, Clib wants to take the facility to GMP.  That means…gowning.

I hate gowning.  I really do.  It’s the worst.  I dislike everything about it.  I dislike the sticky mats, the gloves, the coveralls (or whatever is necessary for the area you’re in), the shoe covers, the bouffant caps.  Ugh.  Everything about it is terrible.  And now, I have to show Clib that I know how to do it.  I have to show them I know how to dress myself.

Because I’m considered a temp employee at Clib, as all long term contractors are, I get to be enrolled in all these lovely and fun training sessions.  And I’m held accountable for them too.  Such as training and then testing for gowning.  And for some reason, they’re holding us accountable for the most difficult gowning process of all.   Gowning for aseptic areas.

Gowning for aseptic areas is all kinds of complicated.  You have to be careful not to shed particulate everywhere, because humans are always shedding things like dead skin and saliva.  And you have to be careful not to contaminate anything.  So what does that mean for me?  Here’s the break down.

  • Change into green scrubs, because street clothes are not allowed in the clean corridors.
  • Don first pair of shoe covers to enter room to grab blue scrubs.
  • Sanitize hands.
  • Grab blue scrubs.
  • Sanitize hands.
  • Change into blue scrubs making sure they never touch the floor.
  • Don two pairs of bouffant caps.  You aren’t required to wear two.  I do because I have so much hair.  It’s easier to wear two.
  • Sanitize hands.
  • Don second pair of shoe covers to enter hallway.
  • Don third pair of shoe covers to enter glove room.
  • Wash hands.
  • Don first pair of gloves using aseptic method.  Basically this means you can’t touch the outside of the gloves with your bare hands at any time.  You also have to make sure that the outside of your gloves never touch anything else on you.
  • Don second pair of gloves using aseptic method.  It can be kind of difficult to put a pair of latex gloves on over latex gloves.  And these don’t have powder either.  Remember what I said about particulate.
  • Enter gowning room making sure your hands touch as few things as possible.
  • Grab hood.
  • Don hood using aseptic method.  This is hard for me because of my aforementioned hair.
  • Grab mask.
  • Don mask using aseptic method.  This is still hard because remember that I’m wearing two pairs of gloves.  I can’t feel the strings.  And you can’t let the strings touch your body, so you’re constantly leaning forward.  This makes the mirror they provide for you kind of useless.
  • Grab coveralls.
  • Don coveralls using aseptic method.  Nothing can ever touch the floor.  Ever.  EVAR.
  • Grab overboots.
  • Don overboots using aseptic method.
  • Grab third pair of gloves.
  • Take off second pair of gloves.
  • Don third pair of gloves using aseptic method.
  • Pinch in nose piece on mask using knuckles.
  • Grab sterile goggles.
  • Don goggles making sure there is no bare skin anywhere.
  • Now you now worthy to enter the sterile area!  Huzzah!

Do you not see how ridiculous this is?  DO YOU??

And, you have to demonstrate that you can do this three separate times to Clib before you’re deemed competent enough to dress yourself.  After you go through that whole procedure, they take plates of strategic areas of your whole getup to see if you contaminated anything.  If you fail any of the tests, you have to do another two and pass, otherwise this just continues forever.  Or maybe they fire you because you’re too stupid to dress yourself.  I don’t know yet.  As of time of writing, I’ve only completed two tests.  And I’m pretty sure I failed my second test.  It was almost comically disastrous, the way that test went (because of the hair, it’s always because of the hair).  I won’t know until 120hr after my third test though.  The plates need to incubate for that long.  Then I’ll know how many more times I’ll have to try and prove to Clib that I know how to dress myself.

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