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The Principles And Practices Of Aseptic Technique > Terminology > Flashcards

Flashcards in Terminology Deck (25):


Chemical agents approved for use on the skin that inhibit the growth and reproduction of microorganisms



The absence of pathogenic microorganisms on an animate surface or on body tissue. Literally asepsis means without infection whereas sepsis literally means with infection. In surgery asepsis is a state of minimal or zero pathogens. Asepsis is the goal of many surgical practices


Aseptic technique

Methods or practices in health care that reduce infection


Chemical barrier

The barrier formed by the action of an antiseptic; it not only reduces the number of microorganisms on a surface, but also prevents recolonization for a limited period



The consequence of physical contact between a sterile surface and a nonsterile surface in surgery resulting in the potential or actual transfer of microbes from one surface to another


Containment and confinement

A foundation concept of aseptic technique in which sterile and nonsterile surfaces are separated by physical barriers or distance


Double gloving

Wearing two pairs of gloves, one over the other, to reduce the risk of contamination as a result of glove failure


Gross contamination

Contamination of a large area of tissue by highly infective source


Hand washing

A specific technique used to remove soil, debris, and dead cells from the hands. Hand washing with an antiseptic also reduces the number of microorganisms on the skin


Nonsterile personnel

In surgery the team members who remain outside the boundary of the sterile field and do not come in direct contact with sterile equipment, sterile areas, or the surgical wound. The circulator, anesthesia care provider, and radiographic technician are examples of nonsterile team members


Physical barrier

In surgery, a barrier that separates a sterile surface from a nonsterile surface. Examples are sterile gloves, gowns, and drapes. A physical barrier, such as the surgical cap, prevents a bacteria laden surface, such as the hair from shedding microorganisms


Resident flora

Microorganisms are normally present in specific tissues. Resident flora are necessary to the regular function of these tissues or structures. Also called normal flora



The scrubbed ST or nurse assisting in surgery. Also refers to the surgical hand scrub performed before surgery


Scrubbed personnel

In surgery members of the surgical team who work within the sterile field. Also called sterile personnel



Any objects that can penetrate the skin and have the potential to cause injury and infection, including but not limited to needles, scalpels, broken glass, and exposed ends of dental wires


Sterile field

An area that includes the draped patient, all sterile tables, and sterile equipment in the immediate area of the patient. The patient is the center of the sterile field


Sterile item

Any item or medical device that has been exposed to a process that destroys all microbes, including spores



A state in which an inanimate or animate surface harbors absolutely no viable microorganisms


Strike through contamination

An event in which fluid from a nonsterile surface penetrates the protective wrapper of a sterile item, causing it to become contaminated


Surgical conscience

I surgery the ethical motivation to practice excellent aseptic technique to protect the patient from infection. Surgical conscience implies that the professional practices excellent technique regardless of whether others are observing


Surgical hand rub

The systematic application of antiseptic foam or gel on the hands before foaming and gloving for a sterile procedure. The surgical handrub may be used as an alternative to the traditional hand scrub under certain conditions


Surgical hand scrub

A specific technique for washing the hands before donning a surgical gown and gloves before surgery. The scrub is performed with timed or counted strokes using detergent based antiseptic. The surgical hand scrub is designed to remove dirt, oils, and transient microorganisms and reduce the number of resident microorganisms


Surgical wound

The superficial and deep tissue layers of the surgical incision. This is the center of the surgical field


Surgical site infection

Postoperative infection of the surgical wound. The goal of surgical skin prep is to prevent postoperative wound infection


Transient flora

Microorganisms that do not normally reside in the tissue of an individual. Transient microorganisms are acquired through skin contact with an animate or inanimate source colonized by microbes. Transient flora may be removed by routine methods of skin cleaning