•Avoiding talking and coughing, and preventing moisture are some of the guidelines used by the health care team to maintain sterility during a surgical procedure.
•Talking or coughing in front of the sterile field may transmit microorganisms from saliva.
•Moisture allows microorganisms to move across a cloth or paper barrier.
•Arms must always be above the waist level to prevent contamination.
•Exam gloves are used in handling unsterile materials and are not appropriate to be used during a sterile procedure.
•The circulating nurse is not sterile so should avoid reaching over or touching the sterile field.
•Sterile personnel who need to change positions should move face to face, but never turn their back to the sterile field.