Nurses Role in Preventing SSI’s

The nursing profession described its primary role as patient advocacy, central to this role is ensuring patient safety. In the outpatient setting this is especially true because a patient is admitted and receives a rapid sequence of care from a multidisciplinary team with a shortened length of stay. The patient is most vulnerable in the OR when they are sedated, the biggest concerns are preventing the patient from harm and injury and preventing surgical site infections.

Team Strategies:

  • Assessment of Risk Factors: Perform a complete assessment to include intrinsic and extrinsic factors as defined by the AORN. Take into consideration the patients ASA set by the anesthesiologist. All of these factors will effect the likelihood of the patient getting an infection.
  • Patient Preparedness: CDC includes any microsurgery involving implants or grafts as an increased risk group requiring antibiotics. The antibiotics should be given in pre-op 1 hour prior to incision time or in the irrigating solutions or as injections.
  • Patient Attire: Patients should have a gown and a buffount cap on to cover their hair.
  • Hair Removal: The standard of care is to remove hair if it directly impedes with the incision area. If removing hair, you should use clippers or a depilatory cream.
  • Environment: Terminal cleaning should be performed daily when surgery occurs. The OR should also be cleaned before the first case including; cleaning of all horizontal surfaces, equipment, lights and frequently touched areas. Between cases the room should be disinfected by wiping down horizontal surfaces, frequently touched areas and equipment. The OR humidity should be between 30-60% with the temperature between 68-73 degrees. The ventilation system should have HEPA filters and so many air exchanges an hour to maintain adequate ventilation.

Source: OR Nurse