Compliance to the principles of sterile technique prevents contamination to the surgical site thus preventing the patient from any infection related to surgery. All surgical supplies that will be in contact with the patient during the surgery must be sterilized before use. The surgical team including the surgeon, surgical assistants and nurses must scrub prior to surgery and should wear proper gown, gloves, mask, and cap. During surgery, only those who have scrubbed touch sterile objects and those who have not scrubbed only touches unsterile objects.
Basic Principles of Sterile Technique
- Only sterile items are used within sterile field.
- Sterile objects become unsterile when touched by unsterile objects.
- Sterile items that are out of vision or below the waist level of the nurse are considered unsterile.
- Sterile objects can become unsterile by prolong exposure to airborne microorganisms.
- Fluids flow in the direction of gravity.
- Moisture that passes through a sterile object draws microorganism from unsterile surfaces above or below to the surface by capillary reaction.
- The edges of a sterile field are considered unsterile.
- The skin cannot be sterilized and is unsterile.
- Conscientiousness, alertness and honesty are essential qualities in maintaining surgical asepsis.