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Respecting Cultural Diversity

The challenge for all staff working in perioperative settings is to develop their personal awareness regarding the varied cultures, beliefs and practices of both colleagues and patients. A Sikh patient, due to religious beliefs, has requested he keeps his ‘kirpan’ (short sword) with him at all times. How should this be handled within the operating theatre? [more]

Are Health Care Assistants (HCAs/TSWs) qualified to undertake the scrub/recovery role and if not what qualifications are required?

The actual duties of a support worker (or equivalent) are dependant on the level of training that they have and their job description.  Registered staff should supervise support workers and delegate tasks according to this and local policy, therefore good local governance is required for any such practice development. [more]

How should the ‘count’ be carried out and recorded and should the red swab/pack ties also be counted? 

The initial full swab, instrument and sharps count must be performed immediately prior to the commencement of surgery.  A second count should occur before closure of a cavity within a cavity, before wound closure begins, and finally at skin closure or at the end of the procedure. [more]

I have been told by my manager to only double glove for joint replacements. Is it not for the safety of patients and ourselves that we double glove for all cases?

AfPP recommends that the decision to double glove should be based on the risk posed by the surgical procedure eg the exposure to sharps and not the risk posed by the patient, or personal preference. [more]

What are AfPPs guidelines/recommendations on the wearing of hats and in particular best practice in relation to disposable versus reusable fabric hats?

AfPP recommends that disposable headwear is preferable although cloth hats are permissible if laundered and inspected for holes/imperfections in an approved facility and not at home. [more]

How long is it acceptable to leave a covered sterile trolley to stand before being used? 

Sterile fields should be prepared as close as possible to the time of use and once prepared, the trolley must be attended to at all times. [more]
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