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Preoperative Patient Skin Antisepsis


The goal of preoperative preparation of the patient's skin is to reduce the risk of postoperative surgical site infection by removing soil and transient microorganisms from the skin, reduce the resident microbial count to subpathogenic levels in a short period of time and with the least amount of tissue irritation, and inhibit rapid, rebound growth of microorganisms.

In order to reduce the potential for a patient to develop a surgical site infection, it is essential for perioperative personnel to be knowledgeable regarding the process of preoperative skin preparation.


The purpose of this activity is to provide perioperative nurses with a guideline for achieving skin preparation of the surgical site.


  • Describe the methods of preparing the patient's skin to decrease risk of surgical site infection.

  • Identify the methods for removing soil and transient microorganisms from the skin

  • Describe why reducing the resident microbial count to subpathogenic level in a short period with the least amount of tissue irritation is critical.

  • Define methods for inhibiting rapid rebound growth of microorganisms.

Course Requirements

To receive 1.2 contact hours for this course, you must achieve mastery of the content and submit an evaluation as instructed at the end of the course. This course contains 50 questions.

Contact Hours

The 1.2 contact hours for this course will expire June 30, 2016.


AORN is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AORN is Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 13019.


This program is approved for 1.2 hours of AEU credit by BASC provider #0102.


AORN recognizes these activities as continuing education for registered nurses. This recognition does not imply that AORN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center approves or endorses products mentioned in the activity.

Guidelines for Perioperative Practice


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