How to set surgical trays for an operating room

Written by kimberly cummings
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How to set surgical trays for an operating room
Surgical intrument set-up is important. (Surgical tools - scalpel, forceps, clamps, scissors - isolated image by Dmitry Rukhlenko from Fotolia.com)

Setting surgery trays up properly in accordance for the type of surgery being conducted is a valuable and important step in any surgery. Surgical technicians know that correct set-up and arrangement of the surgical tray allows the surgeon to not only perform the surgery more efficiently, but allows him to have all his preferred surgical instruments easily assessable. Proper sterile precautions of surgical instruments plays a key role in the patient's post operative health. Every surgeon and surgical procedure has special instructions for instrument preparation above basic instrument set-up, therefore it is imperative that surgical technicians understand each specific surgeon's requirements for proper surgical tray arrangement.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Mayo stand and sterile surgical tray
  • Sterile surgical drape for instrument tray
  • Sterile surgical instrument packs or complete sterile surgical kits
  • Sterile surgical towels
  • Fenestrated drape for patient
  • Sterile gauze
  • Sterile gloves
  • Sterile basin

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Set a Mayo stand and tray directly to the right of the scrub nurse or scrub physician who will be assisting in the surgery.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Setting stand in proper location is important. (preporation for operation - mayo stand image by Allen Penton from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Put on sterile gloves while setting up for any surgical procedure.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Change sterile gloves as many times as necessary. (ready for surgery! image by Laser from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Cover the Mayo stand and instrument tray with a sterile drape by carefully opening each side. Avoid touching the inside of the surgical drape where the instruments will be placed.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Sterile draping is a crucial part of the sterile field. (surgical image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Open carefully the basic sterile instrument set-up for the surgical procedure that is being done. Once the package is opened you will need to re-glove in order to place the individual instruments on the tray.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Open sterile instruments carefully. (Stock pictures of hemostats used in surgical practice image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Look at expiration dates, sterilisation indicators and packaging before opening and placing any surgical instruments or equipment needed for surgery.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Expiration dates should be carefully inspected. (prepare for surgery image by Laser from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    Place the instruments carefully, handle first on the sterile drape using proper sterile technique. Make sure that nothing contaminates the sterile field or the sterile instruments.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Sterile instruments should be arranged in proper order. (Stock pictures of hemostats used in surgical practice image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)
  7. 7

    Arrange the instruments accordingly to the specific surgery and surgeon's requirements, do not overlap instruments or overcrowd instruments. Each surgeon will have certain instruments she prefers.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Do not overcrowd surgical tray. (surgeons tray image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)
  8. 8

    Place sterile gauze on the sterile tray and a fenestrated drape.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Make sure you have plenty of sterile gauze on hand. (gauze image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com)
  9. 9

    Place on the utility stand any other additional surgical equipment that will be needed for the procedure.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Additional surgical tools should be easily available. (surgical image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)
  10. 10

    Place a sterile surgical basin in the ring stand next to the Mayo stand.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Surgical basin should be available. (surgery image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com)
  11. 11

    Place duplicate or additional unopened sterile instruments in the surgical theatre in case they are needed quickly.

    How to set surgical trays for an operating room
    Have plenty of duplicate instruments available. (surgical instruments image by Oleg Ivanov from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Prepackaged instrument kits have all surgical instruments enclosed and the instrument packaging. once opened. becomes the drape for the Mayo stand.
  • It is recommended that instruments be set up as close to surgery start-up time as possible.
  • Re-glove as many times as necessary to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Make sure you have appropriate instrument knowledge on all surgical procedures.
  • Any contamination of the sterile instrument field requires a complete new instrument set-up.
  • Sterile surgical instruments should never be covered.

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