PIIS0001209210009798 - Thinking About Safe Surgical Attire...

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AORN JOURNAL VOL 92, 6S, OR PRODUCT DIRECTORY © AORN, Inc, 2010 S70 Thinking About Safe Surgical Attire Experts suggest quality, consistency, awareness are key themes to keep in mind as all perioperative professionals think about what they are wearing and how this supports safety Carina Stanton, MA, BSJ Senior News Editor, AORN It happens every day. A perioperative health care professional heads to work wearing scrub attire. On the way she takes her child to school, drops the dog at the groomer, and stops for gas, picking up infectious organisms along the way that her patients may be exposed to. After her shift, she leaves the facility without changing out of her scrub attire. She gets the dog, grabs her dry cleaning, picks up her child from day care, and heads home, leaving her work day scrubs in the laundry room for washing. By wearing her surgical scrubs outside of the facility and making routine stops on her way, she has just put herself, her family, and her community at risk by possibly carrying dangerous pathogens from her health care facility, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile and other infectious organisms. “What professionals wear in a health care setting can become so automatic that they forget to think about what they may be carrying on their clothing and their hands. Awareness about safe practices for surgical attire is so important to reinforce,” said Joan Blanchard, MSS, BSN, RN, CNOR, CIC, an AORN perioperative nursing specialist responsible for overseeing AORN’s recommended practices for surgical attire. Blanchard, Melanie Braswell, MS, RN, CNS, DNP, CNOR, Nancy Bjerke, MPH, RN, CIC, and other members of AORN’s Recommended Practices Committee have been working with infection control experts, laundering specialists, and others to update AORN’s Recommended Practices for Surgical Attire. “The key regarding surgical attire is to keep in mind patient and personal safety. Because surgical attire is something perioperative nurses ‘do’ every day, it’s important for perioperative leaders to regularly remind their teams about the safety hazards that can occur if nurses don’t follow appropriate guidelines for surgical attire,” Blanchard stressed. “This is a message that can’t be repeated enough.” T HE R OOT OF THE P ROBLEM When it comes to safe practices for surgical attire, Blanchard said there should be a focus on quality, consistency, and awareness that starts with facility administration and is fol- lowed through with every staff member entering the perioperative suite. Health care leaders should provide their perioperative personnel with policies, procedures, regular education and policy review, and adequate clean attire inventory as part of their daily work Fow, Blanchard said. The health care organization should provide freshly laundered or disposable surgi-
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PIIS0001209210009798 - Thinking About Safe Surgical Attire...

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