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Sterilization in the Perioperative Setting


The creation and maintenance of an aseptic environment has a direct influence on patient outcomes. A major responsibility of the perioperative registered nurse is to minimize patient risk for surgical site infection. One of the measures for preventing surgical site infections is to provide surgical items that are free of contamination at the time of use. This can be accomplished by subjecting them to cleaning and decontamination, followed by a sterilization process. Sterilization provides the highest level of assurance that surgical items are free of viable microbes.


This course provides the perioperative nurse with guidance for sterilizing items to be used in the surgical environment. After completing the course, the learner will have a basic understanding of different types of sterilizers, methods to maintain the sterility of sterile items, and process monitoring devices.


  • Distinguish between different sterilization methods.

  • Identify how to maintain the sterility of sterile items.

  • Distinguish between different types of sterilization process monitoring devices.

Course Requirements

To receive 3 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 90 questions.

Contact Hours

The 3 contact hours for this course will expire July 31, 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 3 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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