After entering the OR with your hands in front of you (the "I'm Scrubbed" position), stand close to (but not right next to) the scrub nurse or scrub tech. They will open a sterile towel and lay it over one of your hands. Step away from the scrub nurse (tech) and use the towel to dry yourself. First dry your fingers, then both of your palms and the backs of your hands, then your wrists and finally your forearms. In other words, start at your fingertips and work your way down to the elbows. In this way, your fingertips will remain the most sterile.
After drying both hands and arms, look to the circulator for guidance on what she wants you to do with the towel. She may take it from you, or suggest that you drop it in a linen hamper. Follow the directions for disposing of the towel (don't give it back to the scrub nurse as it is already contaminated).
Then turn again to the scrub nurse or scrub tech. Hold your arms straight out in front of you and the scrub nurse will slip a gown over your hands and arms. At this point, your hands should not extend through the cuffs of the gown.
Step back from the scrub nurse and wait for the circulator nurse to come behind you, pull the gown up over your shoulders and fasten it behind you at the neck and waist. Often, they will then bend down, grasp the bottom of the gown and give it a sharp tug downward to straighten out any wrinkles and insure that it is securely in place. Next, you must put on your gloves.
After putting on your gloves, the final step in putting on a gown is "turning." Turning is only done after you have your sterile gloves on. On the front of your gown, at waist level, is a flap that has been tied in place. You or the scrub tech will untie the flap and you will then turn a full circle while the tech holds onto the end of the flap. This will wrap your back with the sterile gown's flap. After "turning" you are sterile on all sides. Take the flap from the scrub tech and tie it back into your gown. You are ready for surgery.
While scrubbed, always keep your hands above your waist and never let them drop down to your sides.
OB-GYN 101: Introductory
Obstetrics & Gynecology
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