Aseptic practice recommendations for circulating operating theatre nurses.

Research paper by Teija-Kaisa TK Aholaakko, Eija E Metsälä

Indexed on: 15 Jul '15Published on: 15 Jul '15Published in: British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)


Aseptic practices prevent exposure of a surgical wound to microbes, operating theatre environment and personnel. The circulating nurse assists the operating theatre personnel and supervises aseptic practices preventing surgical site infections. In the absence of analytical tools, few studies exist on intraoperative nursing-related aseptic practices. This study introduces recommendations to assess the role of the circulating nurse in aseptic practices. The authors used international recommendations and research findings to construct a 20-item self-report instrument with a demonstrated reliability across the scale. The authors structured the scale based on three phases: establishment; maintenance; and disestablishment of a sterile operating field. The tool was tested among operating theatre and day surgery nurses, and compared the differences in the mean acceptance rates of aseptic practice recommendations based on background characteristics. College-level nurses and nurses with 15 or more years' work experience accepted the recommendations at higher levels than bachelor-level nurses and nurses with less work experience. Continual assessment of the evidence base and comprehensive evaluation represent important components in further developing the tool. A reasonable number of items covering clinical practice are necessary for assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of aseptic practices, and a larger response rate is needed to validate the tool in future.