Chapter 1: Infection Prevention and Control

1.6 The Operating Room Environment

Critical Thinking Exercises: Questions, Answers, and Sources / References

Critical thinking questions are in bold type, and the answers are italicized. Additional resources or references are provided below.

  1. Why should the sterile field always be kept in sight by the Scrub Nurse or Circulating Nurse?

One of the principles of asepsis is that the sterile field must be within sight of the healthcare provider to ensure sterility. Fields that cannot be guaranteed sterile are considered contaminated.


2. Name three healthcare providers who are considered sterile in the OR area.

  • Surgeon
  • Scrub Nurse
  • Surgical Assistant

Note: Non-sterile OR personnel include: Anesthesiologist, Circulating Nurse, technologists (e.g., Radiologist), students, or observers


Perry, A. G., Potter, P. A., & Ostendorf, W. R. (2017). Clinical nursing skills and techniques (9th ed.). Elsevier; Mosby.