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Surgery results in a disruption of the skin, which is the body's principal barrier against the introduction of microorganisms. Thus, the potential for infection is a major concern in the operating room as well as during preoperative and postoperative care. The sterile field is an essential protective measure as it creates a wide area of sterility between the operative site and the surrounding, unsterile environment.

  • Agenda

  • 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
  • Materials Used to Prepare the Sterile Field
  • Preparing the Sterile Field
  • Draping the Patient
  • Plastic Incisional Drapes
  • The Four-towel Method
  • Maintaining the Integrity of the Sterile Field
  • Documentation
  • Conclusion

    The purpose of this program is to provide nurses an understanding of the principles of establishing and maintaining a sterile field between an operative site and the surrounding unsterile environment.

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

  • Discuss the principles for effectively preparing a sterile field, and explain what to do if sterility is questionable.
  • Demonstrate how to protect your sterile hands while draping tables and stands, and identify when to drape the patient.
  • Discuss the basic principles for maintaining surgical asepsis.

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