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35 Cards in this Set

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aseptic technique

refers to the way ew handle the clean/sterile environment with regards to sterility


the practice of rendering the environment free from disease producing pathogens

surgical asepsis

rendering the operative area as free from microbial contamination as possible


completely free from living organisms, including the spores

transition area

enter in street clothes and exit into area requiring scrubs

unrestricted area

central point where patients and staff enter

street clothes are permitted

traffic not limited in this area, although the entrance to the surgical suite is restricted to authorized personnel only

unrestricted area examples (6)

hall leading to practice sinks

locker rooms


pre op holding area

staff lounge

waiting room

what happens in the unrestricted area?

no sterile activity

tours pass, patient admitted, trash, patient discharged, street clothes worn then change into scrubs

semi restricted

support areas of the surgical suite

traffic limited to authorized personnel

all personnel required to wear scrub suits, hat, shoe covers

face mask, eye wear, gloves only if cleaning instruments

no sterile activity

semi restricted examples

inside corridor

dirty utility room

--> storage area for cleaning supplies + instrument decontamination

clean utility room

--> storage area for clean and sterile supplies

restricted area

sterile activity! - strictest area

OR, clean core, scrub room

scrubs, hats, shoe covers, face masks required

eyewear required if scrubbing in

authorized personnel only

restricted area examples (3)

scrub rooms


scrubs, hats, shoe covers, face mask, eyewear if scrubbing

what should you wear in the semi-restricted and restricted areas of the surgical suite?

OR attire:

surgical attire intended for use only within the surgical suite

minimizes contamination from entering the OR

examples of OR attire (6)

1) clean scrubs

2) clean hat

3) clean shoe covers (over serviceable shoes)

4) no undershirts

5) no jewelry

6) no nail polish, acrylic nails, nails must be short

--> now they want you to wear warm up jackets if you're not scrubbing in b/c they don't want any bare arms at all

who are the sterile members of the surgical team? (4)

1) surgeon

2) resident

3) 1st assist (4th year student extern)

4) 2nd assist (3rd year student scrubbed in)

who are the non-sterile members of the surgical team? (4)

1) anesthesiologist

2) nurse monitor for local cases only

3) circulator: these members act in a sterile manner to preserve sterility

4) patient

recommended practice 1

all items within a sterile field must be sterile


(non sterile person)

inspects the integrity of the drapes, gowns, instruments, and sterile back packs, before and during surgical cases

how to achieve sterility

autoclaving instruments

- steam under pressure

- regular cycle:

- time: 30 minutes

- pressure: 10-20 lbs

- temperature: 250-270 degrees F, depending on the autoclave

maintaining sterility

shelf life- event related rather than date related

shelf life

length of time the item remains sterile depends on the occurrence of a contaminating event

--Acommercially prepared item contains an expiration date- that date should behonored even if the facility has adopted an event-related system-unless therehas been a contaminating event

recommended practice 2

the edges of sterile packages are not sterile once the package is open

--> all items introduced onto a sterile field should be opened, dispensed, and transferred by methods that maintain sterility and integrity

how can you assure recommended practice 2?

an instrument may be used as an extension of a persons hand to assure a safety margin between fields

containers holding sterile solutions are never sterile?


must pour high and from a safe distance

once the lid is off, only the contents are sterile. so when you pour liquids, fluid is poured onto the sterile basin

recommended practice 3

gowns are sterile chest to table level in the front, including the sleeves to 2 inches above the elbow

T/F- axilla, neckline, and back are sterile

F: not sterile

T/F- if standing away from a table, gowns are sterile chest to waist level in the front



single use gowns are removed before leaving the OR to avoid contaminating the suite

- gowns should provide appropriate barriers to microorganisms, particulate matter, and fluids

recommended practice 4

tables are considered sterile at table-top level only

- any item extending beyond the sterile boundary is considered contaminated and is not brought back into the sterile field

recommended practice 5

movement is sterile to sterile

unsterile to unsterile only

-- sterile people cross each other front to back, or back to back

-- all members, sterile and non sterile, must be aware when movement occurs to avoid contamination

how do non scrubbed team members move in the OR?

move from unsterile to unsterile and they maintain a 2 feet distance from any sterile field

non scrubbed members are never permitted to walk between a sterile member and their sterile field

recommended practice 6

movement and air currents within and around a sterile field must be minimal to avoid contamination

- patterns of movement are adhered to rigidly during a surgical procedure

recommended practice 7

contamination occurs whenever a bacterial barrier is violated

- perforations in a barrier provide portals of entry and exit for microorganisms, blood, and other potentially infectious bodily fluids

recommended practice 8

if in doubt regarding an item's sterility, consider it unsterile

(fluids, integrity of package, expiration dates, gloves)

surgical conscience

every surgical team member, sterile or non sterile, whether witnessed or not, will point out known or suspected violations of sterile techniques and initiate corrective action

- if someone tells you you did something unsterile, then you did. even if you disagree- don't take the risk