Scrubbing Process for Surgery

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So you’ve earned your degree in surgical technology and are just about to scrub up for your first surgery.  Before you step into the “surgical field,” there are several different procedures and processes to ensure the sterility of the area. Correctly following these steps will help you to prepare for scrubbing into any surgery and keep the surgical area free of any harmful microorganisms.

Prepare for the Scrubbing Process
Before you start scrubbing, it is important to properly prepare for scrubbing. Turn on a faucet and allow the water to reach a comfortably warm temperature and even flow. Next, begin the scrubbing process starting with the fingernails. Making sure to only use materials from a sterile pack, file and brush your nails for cleanliness.

Three Cycles to Surgical Scrubbing
There are three cycles to a surgical scrub. The first occurs with the hands and arms extending two inches above the elbow, followed by hands and half way up the forearms, then hands only. When scrubbing hands, it is important to follow proper instructions as well as repeating each cycle with each wash. By following these principles, you are able to ensure proper cleanliness. Make certain to keep your hands above the level of your elbows at all times, preventing any dirty water from dripping down to sterile areas of the arm.

Proper Gowning for Surgical Procedure
The next step is to properly gown. Dry your hands completely, and then pick up the gown. The gown is packed and folded to allow clear visibility and accessibly to the sleeve openings. Locate the arm openings and slip your arms carefully into the sleeves, extending your arms out and slightly upward.  Let the gown fall into place as a circulator helps pull the gown down and into proper position for surgical procedure.

Gloving for Surgical Procedure
Gloving is the final step in the scrubbing process. There are two primary techniques when it comes to putting on sterile gloves for surgery areas: the open glove technique and the closed glove technique. Both techniques have specific methods and instructions that need to be followed to ensure proper sterilization and cleanliness. Step descriptions to the “closed glove technique” can be found within the slide show below.

The primary purpose of any meticulous scrubbing preparation and processes is to ensure patient safety and prevent possible infection. Proper scrubbing is vital to any career in the surgical technology field. The Pittsburgh Technical Institute is one of the best surgical tech schools in Pa, training students for a career as a vital member to the operating room team. Visit PTI’s School of Healthcare and learn more about how closely training with surgeons, anesthesiologists and other surgery personnel will benefit you.

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