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Sterile technique

Sterile gloves; Wound care - sterile technique; Catheter care - sterile technique

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Description

Sterile means free from germs. When you care for your catheter or surgery wound, you need to take steps to avoid spreading germs. Some cleaning and care procedures need to be done in a sterile way so that you do not get an infection.

Follow your health care provider's instructions on using sterile technique. Use the information below as a reminder of the steps.

Sterile Technique

Carefully follow all of the steps below to keep your work area sterile.

You will need:

Wash your hands well and keep all work surfaces clean and dry at all times. When you handle supplies, touch only the outside wrappers with your bare hands. You may need to wear a mask over your nose and mouth.

Keep your supplies within your reach so you do not drop or rub against them while you go through the steps. If you need to cough or sneeze, turn your head away from your supplies and cover your mouth firmly with the crook of your elbow.

Getting Your Supplies Ready

To open a sterile pad or kit:

Your gloves may be separate or inside the kit. To get your gloves ready:

Putting on Your Gloves

When putting on your gloves:

Once your gloves are on, do not touch anything except your sterile supplies. If you do touch something else, remove the gloves, wash your hands again, and go through the steps to open and put on a new pair of gloves.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you are having trouble using the sterile technique.

Related Information

Stress urinary incontinence
Urge incontinence
Urinary incontinence
Surgical wound care - open
Indwelling catheter care
Central venous catheter - dressing change
Central venous catheter - flushing
Peripherally inserted central catheter - flushing

References

Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M. Wound care and dressings. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M, eds. Clinical Nursing Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed. New York, NY: Pearson; 2016:chap 25.

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Review Date: 7/12/2018  

Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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