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Introduction of the Operating Room Assistant to the Surgical Environment

The Assistant (ORA) along with doctors, nurses and surgical technicians form the core of the surgical team. Examples of responsibilities of the ORA include...

Transporting patients to and from the operating room, prepping patients for surgery, assisting the surgical nurse with patient positioning on the operating room (OR) bed, maintaining, cleaning and setting up OR equipment for surgical procedures, assisting the doctors and nurses during emergency situations such as performing chest compressions during CPR, retrieving blood products from the blood bank, and delivering surgical specimens to the lab and pathology department to assist with diagnosis and treatment.

Introduction of the Operating Room Assistant to the Surgical Environment is a basic resource designed to teach unlicensed ORAs and anyone new to the surgical environment how to work safely and productively in the OR. Introduction of the Operating Assistant to the Surgical Environment is based on current standards and recommendations of the leading healthcare organizations in the United States and around the world.

  • Contents of Introduction of the Operating Room Assistant to the Surgical Environment include:
    Chapter 1. Roles and Responsibilities of the Operating Room Assistant (ORA): Definition & job description of the ORA.
    Chapter 2. Following the Patient through the Operating Room (OR) Circuit: takes the reader on a tour through the three different phases of surgery including preoperative, intraoperative, & postoperative care.
    Chapter 3. Safety in the OR: Discusses security and patient privacy, personal protective equipment (PPE), protection against sharp instruments, electrical & fire safety, emergency & hazard communication, radiation safety, chemical waste handling, latex allergies, counting & count procedures & body mechanics.
    Chapter 4. Infection Prevention and Control: Discusses causes of infection, common microorganisms, drug resistant organisms, standard & transmission based precautions, hand washing, personal hygiene & medical waste disposal. Chapter 5. Environmental Control in the OR: defines parameters for heating, ventilation & air conditioning systems (HVAC), blanket and fluid warmers & traffic control.
    Chapter 6. OR Beds & Patient Positioning: describes many different types of OR beds & various ways to position patients safely for surgery.
    Chapter 7. OR Equipment & Room Setup: contains pictures and descriptions of many of the items and equipment found in a standard OR.
    Chapter 8. Blood, Cultures and Pathology Specimen Handling: describes how to safely transport and handle blood & human tissue in the OR.
    Chapter 9. Room Turnover and Terminal Cleaning: covers routine environmental cleaning, disinfection, terminal cleaning, & disinfection of the OR after operating on a patient with a drug resistant organism.
    Chapter 10. Other Possible Considerations: discusses present and future applications of the ORA experience.

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