Archive April 2019 XX, No. 4

Ideas That Work: Sterile Techniques

Teach Students Proper Scrubbing and Sharps Safety

Excela Health
STARTING THEM YOUNG Before you let student nurses into the OR, teach them proper scrubbing techniques.

Before nursing students can go into the OR with the surgeons they’ve been assigned to, we show them the basics of hand hygiene, personal protection equipment and sharps safety. We spend about an hour laying the foundation of safe perioperative practice.

We begin with a 5-minute soap-and-water demonstration at the scrub sink to make sure the nurses-in-training have good scrubbing technique and that they understand what they’re doing and the reasons for it. Then we gown and glove together using the best sterile techniques.

Once they’re gowned and gloved, we walk over to a teaching table to talk about sharps safety, including the neutral zone and where we maintain our sharps on the sterile field. Using safety blades and syringes, we teach the students where they can put their hands on the sterile field and who they should talk to if they have a sharps incident.

Yvonne Hunter, RN
Excela Health
Greensburg, Pa.

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