The British Institute of Cleaning Science Founded 1961 with over 10,000 members Largest independent body within the cleaning industry

+44 (0)1604 678710


Stan Atkins FBICSc Comments on His First Day in Healthcare - Education, Membership and training within the cleaning industry | BICSc

My first day in healthcare

Having worked within the cleaning industry for some time I felt that I would like to change the type of premises that I worked in and subsequently applied for a position in my local NHS hospital.On the appointed date and time I arrived at the cleaning services supervisors’ office where I was asked to take a seat, staff were arriving for the start of their shift and two supervisors were giving verbal instructions and rearranging work areas due to staff shortages. Approximately thirty minutes later the supervisor asked what size I was and handed me a tabard and then asked me to follow her.We arrived on a ward where she introduced me to the cleaning operative and said that it was my first day and that I would be working with her.The supervisor then left and my colleague asked if I had experience in cleaning.I replied yes but not in a hospital to which she replied ‘I haven’t got time to train you as I am behind with my work but I will show you what to do quickly.'

I was then shown the trolley, which contained cloths and mop heads all of which I had seen before but had not used; I did however know there was Microfiber among the materials. Very quickly my colleague explained what the cloths were for and the colour coding along with a brief description on how to prepare them.I was also given a whirlwind tour around the ward. She then said I was to do the bins first and left. I decided to make a start and headed down the corridor dealing with the waste bins as I passed.

Just at that my colleague re-appeared and suggested I may want to hurry up as we wouldn’t complete the morning tasks before break time. I mentioned to her that I didn’t know where all the bins were so she said to leave them and to start cleaning the toilets which I did. The supervisor came back and asked how I was getting on to which I replied not very well and that I was unsure what to do. She told me that I would be okay but due to staff shortages didn’t have time to stay with me or place me with another member of staff.

After the break I returned to the ward and was instructed by my colleague to clean the side rooms which were isolation rooms (3 in total), she told me to use an apron and a particular colour of cloth and mop and to ensure these were bagged before I left the room and then left me to carry on. I cleaned the three rooms in what I considered the best way and on completion went to find my colleague. Finally the end of the shift arrived and after a brief ‘how did you get on’ and ‘will see you tomorrow’ I was none the wiser as to how my first day had gone. 

Stan Atkins C & M Article August 2014 

> Make the most of your membership

As a BICSc Member you are entitled to numerous benefits and the opportunity to engage with your peers.

> Create/Amend your member profile

By having a member profile our online area allows to communicate with others, update your information we hold about you and see news in your region.