Establishing and maintaining a sterile field to help prevent surgical site infections requires specific knowledge and skills and is among the most important responsibilities of the perioperative RN. Perioperative RNs should remain vigilant in monitoring the sterile field, communicate when a break in sterile technique occurs, and collaborate with other surgical team members to correct the break in technique. The AORN “Guideline for sterile technique” provides guidance to perioperative personnel on the principles and processes of sterile technique. This article elaborates on key takeaways from the guideline, including using sterile technique when donning sterile gowns and gloves, delivering sterile items to the sterile field, using drapes to establish a sterile field, and maintaining the sterile field. Perioperative RNs should review the complete guideline for additional information and for guidance when writing and updating policies and procedures.
Key words: sterile technique, aseptic, surgical conscience, sterility, safety.