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Speculum assisted tampon removal: clean or sterile?

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Hello, I work in hospital medicine. Last night I got a call from the floor re: a woman whose tampon string broke and they couldn't get it out. It's been so long since I've done anything GYN I wasn't sure if it was a clean or sterile procedure, so I just performed it as sterile. I wanted to check with all you pals in ER medicine about it because I figure you have to do it more often than most.

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