AORN Surgical Attire Updates

The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) published a preview of upcoming changes to surgical attire for perioperative teams based on new evidence to protect patients and staff.

Evidence-based Practice

Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNS-CP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP, FAAN, AORN Director of Evidence-based Practice, expressed the need for updated guidelines on surgical attire requirements based on several new published studies. The current guidelines on surgical attire was published in 2015. The new guidelines will be published and open for public comment in January, 2019. Spruce believes eliminating some guidelines, as well as adding new ones, is vital to providing safe patient care.

Updated Guidelines

Spruce encourages members of perioperative teams to start discussing the following 4 important updates regarding surgical attire changes:

  1. When to safely wear long sleeves
  2. How to wear personal clothing under scrubs
  3. Considering risk with different head and facial hair covering
  4. Addressing ear covering and safe earring wear

The updated guidelines will also address other factors affecting scrub attire, including scrub fabrics, storage of scrubs, changing attire, and allowable clothing under scrub attire. Spruce explained guidelines pertaining to surgical attire should be based on evidence, rather than an individual facility teams’ decision. AORN will be publishing resources for interdisciplinary teams required to make changes based on the 2019 updates.

With new guidelines, comes new policies, procedures and rules to follow. Taking the time to implement new policies, train employees and supervisors, as well as comply with regulatory guidelines can be overwhelming. OccuMed of New England offers on-site audits to help companies comply with new guidelines, as well recommendations to improve processes. We also provide on-site, individualized training tailored to company needs. For more information, visit our website or call 833-OCCUMED.