It is never easy to maintain a sterile field especially in a setting where there are a lot of people moving around and interacting with each other. Medical professionals understand the need to keep the number of pathogens in one area as low as possible and this forms a basic part of their training. They use aseptic techniques to achieve this goal and below, we will explore some of the aseptic techniques medical professionals use to maintain a clean or sterile field or environment.
What Is an Aseptic Technique?
An aseptic technique involves the use of procedures and practices that prevent or reduce contamination. This can be from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. An aseptic technique calls for the use of the strictest rules of cleanliness and sterilization to reduce the risk of infection.
Aseptic techniques are used in clinics, surgery rooms, outpatient centers, and any other settings medical professionals have to do delicate procedures.
Aseptic Technique Types
The first of these techniques is the use of barriers. These barriers help prevent the transfer of pathogens from the medical professional to the patient and vice versa. Some of these barriers include surgical masks, sterile gowns, sterile gloves, and sterile drapes.
Sterile barriers are barriers that have not come into contact with any contamination.
Next, we have environmental controls. These include things like keeping doors closed during delicate procedures or using air filters to keep the air in a room as clean as possible.
Environmental controls also include minimizing the number of people present during a procedure. The more people present, the higher the chances for pathogens to be transferred from one party to another.
Equipment and Patient Preparation
The patient and all the equipment to be used during a procedure are both areas where pathogens can be transferred into or onto sterile environments. All the equipment used must be sterilized and covered using sterile materials to avoid contamination.
As for the patient, they have to be wrapped in such a way that only the area of interest is left exposed. This area should also be cleansed with bacteria-killing preparations to avoid the transfer of pathogens from the skin and into the inside of the body.
Once a medical professional has their sterile barriers on, they should only touch items and areas that are sterilized. One of the most common areas where medical professionals touch non-sterile items is during procedures. For example, they may touch areas of the patient’s body that have not been sterilized or come into contact with bodily fluid.
Although aseptic techniques are taught in many medical schools, it is important to keep medical professionals alert as to where, when, and how they could transfer pathogens from one area or person to another. Constant training and checks will help keep them alert and the management of medical facilities can do this by doing random checks whenever they can.
Aseptic techniques save lives by ensuring patients and medical professionals do not transfer pathogens to other people or items. If all the above things are done, then an aseptic technique will have achieved its aim.