Surgical Scrub

Job Responsibilities/Description

A surgical conscience is the foundation upon which the growth and development of an operating room is built. You must know the principles of sterile technique. Breaks in technique may bring to the would bacteria which the tissue cannot destroy. Lives are at stake if breaks in the technique are made through lack of knowledge of the principles and their applications. Even mild infections delay recovery and are costly to the patient in time and money spent.

  • Scrub, gown and gloves maintaining sterile technique. Set up instruments and supplies according to the procedure.
  • Count sponges, needles and instruments with the circulating nurse prior to the start of the case, at the beginning of the peritoneal closure and again at the skin closure.  Instruments need to be counted only once at the beginning of the closure.
  • Principles to be observed by the sterile scrub person.
  • All articles used in an operation have been sterilized previously with time and temperature strip check prior to putting any instrument tray or basin sets on the back table.
  • Sterile person who are sterile touch sterile articles.
  • The scrub person sets basins or containers to be filled at the edge of the sterile table.
  • The surgeon turns from the sterile field to have perspiration wiped from/ his/ her brow or to have gloves changed.
  • The sterile person drapes the non-sterile field and basin stands first.
  • Tables are sterile only at table level. Linen or suture falling over the table edge are discarded the sterile person must not touch the part dangling below the table level.
  • When the scrub person drapes a table they are careful to unfold the drape so that the part of the sheet which drops down below the table surface is not brought back to the table.
  • Gowns are considered sterile only from waist to shoulder level in front and the sleeves from elbow down.
  • Sterile persons must keep hands in sight and at or above waist level.
  • Hands are kept away from the face and elbows close to the sides. When a sterile person stands on a platform, the low area of the gown brought up to table level must not brush against the sterile table.
  • Arms must never be folded. Perspiration may be present in the axillary region.
  • Articles dropped below the waist level are discarded when picking up a gown, if the top of the gown drops below the waist level, it is discarded.
  • Drape the mayo stand by supporting the folds and the bottom edge of the cover underneath the cuff, with the hands inside the cuff slide the cover over the mayo stand.
  • Work quietly and quickly.
  • Try to think of the order in which supplies are going to be needed to keep a tidy table.
  • If the anesthetic is local, fill the syringe with the medication and put it on the mayo stand. Inform the physician what the medication is, as it is handed to him/her.
  • All scalpels are too placed at either end of the mayo stand and never in the middle.

During the case:

  • Watch the field and try to anticipate the surgeon’s needs. Keep two clean sponges in the field and discard soiled, bloody sponges in receptacles provided.
  • Keep the field neat and never have an article lying on another.
  • Keep your hands free.
  • Do not hold articles not needed at the moment.
  • Work as fast as possible without sacrificing accuracy and technique for speed.
  • Anticipate the surgeons need for sponges, sutures handling of specimens, etc.
  • When handling an instrument, place it in the surgeon’s hand in the position which he is going to use it. Grasp it with the thumb and first fingers, far enough away from the handle so the surgeon can grasp it. Hand the needle holder the same way, supporting the        suture so it does not drag. Have the needle pointing in the direction in which the surgeon will use it. Hand the thumb forceps so the surgeon can grasp the handle.
  • Arrange the instruments on the mayo stand in the position you will be handling them to the surgeon.
  • Take special precaution in handling the scalpel. Grasp it between the thumb and other fingers with the blade facing down, handing it to the doctor handle first.

After the case:

  • Do not break scrub until permission to do so is given by the nurse in charge.
  • The back table is to be kept sterile until the patient leaves the operating room.
  • Check all line and drapes to see that no instruments or equipment is sent to the laundry or thrown in the garbage.
  • Be sure that the specimen is given to the circulating nurse and that it is placed in formalin, unless otherwise directed, and labeled properly to be sent to the lab. During weekends and on call document the specimens in the log book and then they should be       taken to the lab.
  • Place basin and soiled instruments on the back table and transport covered to the soiled instrument room.
  • Assist in cleaning the room and preparing for the next case.


To apply for this position, please send your resume directly to Denise Alexander at  Please indicate in the email the name of the specific position and company you are applying for.

request information