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The conditions under which an operative procedure is carried out are stringently controlled to minimize the potential for contamination of the surgical wound. Sterile instruments, techniques of surgical asepsis, and operating room personnel all contribute to the maintenance of a safe environment.

The patient's own skin, however, can serve as a source of contamination because of the resident flora and bacteria that are normally present on and within skin layers. Surgical skin preparation, which is the subject of this program, helps to control this important environmental factor.

To complete this course, you must do the following:

  • Read the Overview and Course Objectives.
  • Study the Terminology.
  • Read the course material.
  • Complete the Learning Activity.
  • Complete the Post Test with a score of 80% or more.

    The material is organized around the following categories:

  • Introduction
  • Objectives of Surgical Skin Preparation
  • Cleansing Agents
  • Stages of Surgical Skin Preparation
  • Initial Skin Prep
  • Preoperative Skin Preparation
  • Final Skin Prep
  • Conclusion

    The purpose of this program is to provide nurses an understanding of the principles of surgical skin preparation to reduce the risk of postoperative wound infection.

    After completing this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Name the types of bacteria present on the skin.
  • Discuss the three objectives of surgical skin preparation, and discuss all the steps of preoperative skin preparation.
  • Contrast the procedure for performing the final prep for a closed surgical site and an open wound or body orifice.
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    Surgical Skin Preparation Online course
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