Operating room personnel must practice strict standard precautions (i.e. blood and body substance isolation).
All items (e.g. instruments, needles, sutures, dressings, covers, solutions) used in the operating room must be sterile.
All operating room personnel must perform a surgical scrub.
All operating room personnel are required to wear specific, clean attire, with the goal of “shedding” the outside environment. Specific clothing requirements are prescribed and standardized for all operating rooms.
Operating room personnel must wear a sterile gown, gloves and special shoe covers.
Hair must be completely covered.
Masks must be worn at all times in the operating room for the purpose of minimizing airborne contamination; they must be changed between operations or more often if necessary.
Any personnel who harbor pathogenic organisms (e.g. those with colds or infections) must report themselves unable to be in the operating room to protect the client from outside pathogens.
Scrubbed personnel wearing sterile attire should touch only sterile items.
Sterile gowns and sterile drapes have defined borders of sterility. Sterile surfaces or articles may touch other sterile surfaces or articles and remain sterile; contact with unsterile objects at any point renders a sterile area contaminated.
The circulator and unsterile personnel must stay at the periphery of the sterile operating area to keep the sterile area free from contamination.
The utmost caution and vigilance must be used when handling sterile fluids to prevent splashing or spillage.
Anything that is used for one client must be discarded or, in some cases, resterilized.
Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.