140: Aseptic Nursing Technique in the OR

© 2016

This four-part series provides a comprehensive overview of aseptic technique in the Operating Room.  It includes a clear explanation of the chain of infection and how asepsis can prevent operative infections.  Personal hygiene guidelines to reduce opportunities for contamination are also described.  The skills needed for preparing for and performing the surgical hand scrub, assisted and unassisted closed hand gloving, and assisted and unassisted open hand gloving are demonstrated.  In addition, the necessary properties of surgical drapes; the process of applying drapes to operating surfaces; draping the patient and equipment to create a sterile field; and recognizing and addressing contamination of the sterile field are explained.

The series is enhanced with actual operating room footage, graphic depictions of key points, and clear lists of important concepts.  The information in this program applies to all members of the surgical team, as well as giving all nurses and nursing students important information regarding the importance of surgical asepsis.

Schools:  Mid-level to Advanced. Operating room skills.

Healthcare Facilities:  Orientation to the OR for both scrub and circulating staff. Addresses Joint Commission patient safety guidelines.

Individual program learning objectives



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140.1 Principles of Sterile Technique (16 min.)

1. Name the most common source of organisms causing operative infection as well as the other sources of infection within the surgical suite.
2. List the links in the chain of infection.
3. Describe ways in which the sterile field breaks the chain of infection.
4. Delineate the members of the surgical team and their specific areas of responsibility.
5. Give the seven standards and recommended principles related to surgical asepsis from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).
6. List the six recommended standards of practice for creating the sterile field from the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

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140.2 Surgical Hand Scrub (15 min.)

1. Name the three purposes of the surgical hand scrub.
2. Differentiate between the two surgical hand scrub products currently approved for use.
3. Discuss appropriate nail care for surgical staff.
4. Describe the actions taken to prepare for the surgical hand scrub.
5. Describe and demonstrate two techniques for performing a surgical hand scrub.

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140.3 Gowning, Gloving and Surgical Skin Prep (15 min.)

1. Donning a sterile gown
2. Assisting a team member to don a sterile gown
3. Unassisted closed and open hand gloving
4. Assisted closed and open hand gloving
5. Shaving and clipping of surface hair prior to skin prep
 6. Two skin scrub techniques.

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140.4 Creating and Maintaining a Sterile Field (15 min.)

1. List the criteria for materials used in surgical drapes.
2. Name the types of drapes used in the surgical setting.
3. Delineate causes of sterile field contamination and actions taken to address contamination.
4. Create a sterile field on an instrument table and Mayo stand.
5. Select and open sterile packs.
6. Drape a patient for surgery.
7. Assist with placement of an adhesive surgical drape.
8. Apply towel clips.

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