A safe environment is crucial for both our customers and staff. Achieving this environment is not as easy as just “using a sterilizer”. Proper equipment, critical thinking, planning, and follow-through all play important roles and rely on each other when it comes to creating a safe, clean environment.
It all starts with studio design. As soon as you walk through the doors you will know that it’s different here at Prix. We designed the studios with safety in mind. Bright lights and cleanable surfaces are essential, but are certainly just the beginning. It is important to note that our procedure and tool processing rooms are separate from the rest of the studio space. They have four complete floor-to-ceiling walls, with at least one glass wall to facilitate observation. Furniture and equipment is laid out with safety and cross contamination avoidance in mind. HEPA filters are used to clean the air in both the procedure and tool processing rooms.
All of the aforementioned play a role in creating our ideal studio environment even before you get pierced or tattooed. The procedure itself, as well as what happens afterwards, is all carefully planned out.
Before every piercing we gather all of the materials used in the procedure (including new needles, jewelry, gauze, and cotton swabs, etc.) and we run them through one of the most advanced autoclave sterilization machines being used today. This machine, the Statim2000 by Scican, allows us to sterilize while you wait. Using vacuum pulse technology, the Statim2000 runs a full sterilization cycle in only 6 minutes.
Our tattoo artists rise above industry standards as well when sterilizing their equipment. We use a single use needle and needle bar for every customer. The tubes, grips, and tips go through soaking, hand scrubbing, ultrasonic and double sterilization before they are used. Autoclaving the tubes once unwrapped and again wrapped ensures that the steam, heat, and pressure was able to penetrate inside the tube itself, creating exceptionally sterile tools. These are simple steps that help make it safe for you and our artist.
Once the procedure is complete, your piercing/tattoo needle is disposed of in a sharps container and the tools (forceps etc…) are placed in a steel tool bin where they are kept until future processing. Processing of tools takes place in a separate room so we can eliminate further chance of cross contamination. All tools are soaked, rinsed, opened, and then run through an ultrasonic machine. This machine creates tiny implosions on the tool’s surface by sending sound waves through an ultrasonic cleaning liquid. These implosions help remove any surface contaminants before the tools move on to the next step in the sterilization process. After the ultrasonic is drained, the tools are removed, washed, and inspected. If the tools pass inspection they are laid out to dry. If they do not pass inspection, the process is repeated. Once the tools have passed inspection and dry, they are loaded into a large autoclave. A combination of heat, steam, pressure, and time are used to achieve sterilization within the chamber. A proper sterilization cycle creates a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that any bacterial spores have survived. The tools are stored in sterilized packaging for tattoos or stored in the piercing room for piercings. When tools for piercing are needed the sterilization cycle is repeated in the Statim2000. This means that all tools go through two full autoclave sterilization cycles before they are used for tattoos or piercing. This exceeds standard procedures used for tools in most dental offices.
To be sure our autoclaves are functioning properly we must test them periodically. This testing consists of a weekly spore test that ensures sterilization is achieved inside the chamber. A paper strip containing harmless, yet hard to kill, bacterial spores is sterilized in each of our autoclaves. The strips are then sent to a biological monitoring company for analysis. At their labs, they attempt to grow the spores on the strip for 7 days and then report the results to us in writing. The intent is that the spores will not grow because the correct combination of heat, steam, pressure, and time was used within a well-maintained machine. We are happy to report that weekly tests on all 5 autoclaves used by Prix have never resulted in a failed test.
Why do we do all this and more? The answer is simple. We want you to receive the safest procedure possible and we want our employees to work in the safest possible environment. We believe that your health and safety is worth the extra steps, extra cost, and extra research. We are sure you will agree.