is justified. All linen, whether clean or used, must never be held against ones clothing or placed on the floor. The floors of a health care facility are considered grossly contaminated, and, as such, any article coming in contact with the floor is also contaminated. Place all dirty linen in appropriate laundry bags. Linen from patients having infectious or communicable diseases must be handled in a special manner. Such procedures are discussed in the Nursing Procedures Manual, under the section Isolation Procedures.
Isolation technique, a medical aseptic practice, inhibits the spread and transfer of pathogenic organisms by limiting the contacts of the patient and creating some kind of physical barrier between the patient and others. In isolation techniques, disinfection procedures are employed to control contaminated items and areas. For purposes of this discussion, disinfection is described as the killing of certain infectious (pathogenic) agents outside the body by a physical or chemical means. Isolation techniques employ two kinds of disinfection practices, concurrent and terminal. Concurrent disinfection consists of the daily measures taken to control the spread of pathogenic organisms while the patient is still considered infectious. Terminal disinfection consists of those measures taken to destroy pathogenic organisms remaining after the patient is discharged from isolation. There are a variety of chemical and physical means used to disinfect supplies, equipment, and environmental areas, and each facility will determine their own protocols based on recommendations of an Infection Control Committee.
As used in this discussion, surgical aseptic technique is the term used to describe the sterilization, storage, and handling of articles to keep them free of pathogenic organisms. The following discussion will address the preparation and sterilization of surgical equipment and supplies, and the preparation of the operating room for performing a surgical procedure. It should be noted that specific methods of preparation will vary from place to place, but the basic principles of surgical aseptic techniques will remain the same. This discussion will present general guidelines, and individual providers are advised to refer to local instruction regarding particular routines of a specific facility.
Before an operation, it is necessary to sterilize and keep sterile all instruments, materials, and supplies that come in contact with the surgical site. Every item handled by the surgeon and his or her assistants must be sterile. The patients skin and the hands of members of the surgical team must be thoroughly scrubbed, prepared, and kept as aseptic as possible.
During the operation, the surgeon, surgeons assistants, and scrub corpsman must wear sterile gowns and gloves and must not touch anything that is not sterile. Maintaining sterile technique is a cooperative responsibility of the entire surgical team. Each member must develop a surgical conscience, a willingness to supervise and to be supervised by others regarding the adherence to standards. Without this cooperative and vigilant effort, an otherwise successful surgical procedure may result in a complete failure if a break in sterile technique goes unnoticed or is not corrected.
To assist in maintaining the aseptic technique, the following principles must adhere to all members of the surgical team: