PREPARATION OF THE OPERATING ROOM FOR SURGERY
Section I. DUTIES OF THE OPERATING ROOM SPECIALIST AS A CIRCULATOR
a. Both the circulator and the scrub must study the operating room schedule in
detail to enable them to carry out their duties effectively. A discussion of the operating
room schedule is presented in Subcourse MD0923, Introduction to the Operating Room,
which you should have studied prior to this subcourse.
b. Preliminary preparation of the operating room is done before the patient
enters. Cleaning the operating room is part of total patient care and is a cooperative
effort involving both the scrub and the circulator, each with separate duties. The
division of duties is quite specific, yet the circulator and the scrub must plan their duties
so that together the sterile and nonsterile parts of the operation move along together.
c. To work efficiently during a surgical procedure, the circulator must be
thoroughly familiar with the established routine in the operating room suite. He must
know instruments, equipment, and supplies -- including the supplies needed for
positioning the patient -- to enable him to provide the appropriate items. He must also
know their location to avoid loss of time in obtaining them. The duties discussed in the
following paragraphs are ordinarily performed by the circulator. Additional duties may
be assigned to him by the professional members of the operating team. Definite
routines are established for the preparation of an operating room for surgery. There
may be some flexibility in the order in which these duties are performed, but the
sequence given in the following paragraphs is generally used.
PREPARATION OF THE OPERATING ROOM
a. The circulator should check the operating room schedule the day before
surgery for any changes that may have been made. The operating room specialist
should be in the assigned room in plenty of time to prepare for the surgical procedure.
Centralized Materiel Service should be notified of any special equipment and/or
instruments that may be needed for the case that are not readily available.
b. Personal cleanliness is extremely important for the operating room
specialist. Before performing the duties described in the following paragraphs for
preparation of the operating room, the circulator should wash his hands thoroughly and
don a surgical hat. The surgical cap must cover the hair completely to prevent possible
contamination of the sterile area by falling hair or dandruff. He should then don a clean,
cotton scrub suit before entering the semi-restricted areas of the surgical suite. Before