AORN's new surgical attire recommended practices: 5 points to know

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses has released an updated version of "Recommended practices for surgical attire," providing guidance for what to wear — or what not to wear — in or around an operating room.

In a piece in the AORN Journal, Leslie Bourdon, the journal's managing editor, detailed some of the practices. Some of those points are outlined below.

1. The new guidelines cite evidence on the use of antimicrobial fabrics and says using fabric with that technology in scrubs could help protect patients from surgical site infections.

2. Jewelry like earrings, watches and rings that cannot be confined in scrubs should not be worn in semi-restricted or restricted areas, as those items can increase bacterial counts on the skin.

3. Any personal items like briefcases and backpacks should be kept off of the floor and cleaned with a disinfectant, and personal electronic devices should be cleaned with a disinfectant before and after being brought into a perioperative setting.

4. Cover apparel like lab coats that are worn over scrubs should be single-use or, if reusable, it should be cleaned in a healthcare-accredited facility after each use.

5. In fact, any apparel worn in a perioperative setting should be cleaned in a healthcare-accredited laundry facility, as evidence suggests scrubs cleaned in a home setting have a risk for carrying pathogenic organisms.

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