SPONGE COUNT AND SHARPS COUNT
a. Take the sponge count with the scrub and a registered nurse (RN). The
nurse will record it in the designated place (see paragraph 3-20 under duties of the
scrub for sponge count procedures).
NOTE: An RN must always be present for the sponge count. The scrub or circulator
duties may be assigned to an RN. If both the scrub and the circulator are operating
room specialists, an RN must be brought in for the sponge count every time the sponge
count is made.
b. Take the count of the sharps. Sharps include such items as needles and
knife blades. The procedures for counting sharps are covered in paragraph 3-20. Make
an effort to plan your work so that you have finished assisting the scrub by the time the
patient is brought into the room. Once the patient is in the room, your time must be
devoted to him and to the anesthetist.
a. As the anesthetist brings the patient into the room, assist with patient
positioning as necessary.
(1) Loosen the covers around the patient's litter while the patient is outside
the room. Cover the patient's head to prevent the possibility of infection from hair or
dandruff from being scattered into the room. Help the anesthetist to bring the patient
into the room, and do not bump into sterile tables or other items.
(2) Check to be sure the operating table is in the appropriate position and
is locked. Check to make sure the litter is in appropriate place, side rail away from the
table is up and locked into place and that the litter wheels are locked. Then move to the
far side of the operating table to assist the anesthetist in moving the patient onto the
(3) The anesthetist helps to move the patient from the litter to the table. If
the patient is unable to help move himself, you are to obtain additional help.
(4) Position the leg strap two inches above the patient's knee and fasten it.
Check the strap to be sure it will not obstruct the patient's circulation. You should be
able to pass your hand between the strap and the patient's thighs. Loosen the strap if it
is fastened too tightly.
(5) Place the patient's arms at his sides and secure them in the lift sheet,
or secured upon arm boards.
(6) Once the patient is safe and secured, remove the litter from the room.