Which of the following practices is necessary to maintain sterility during a surgical procedure?

Avoid talking or coughing near the sterile field.
Avoid turning your back to the sterile field.
Keep the sterile field free from moisture.
The circulating nurse should not reach over the sterile field.

Explanation

•Avoiding talking and coughing near the sterile field 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 or over the sterile field may transmit microorganisms from saliva.

•Moisture allows microorganisms to move across a cloth or paper barrier.

•The circulating nurse is not sterile and 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.

•Arms must always be above the waist level to prevent contamination.

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