It’s Patient Safety Awareness Week and, at Parkview, that’s certainly a top priority all year long. You see evidence of this each time your doctor or nurse washes their hands or uses antibacterial lotion before their visit with you. Surgeons and team take this a step further by scrubbing their hands and arms before putting on sterile gloves and gowns. But cleanliness as a safety measure doesn’t stop there. It extends to you! As Randy Bryant, RN, manager, surgery, Parkview LaGrange Hospital, explains, if you are scheduled for surgery, you are an important member of your surgical team and should prepare accordingly.
Your important role begins the night before your surgery. You will be instructed to wash your skin with a special antibacterial solution called Hibiclens® or a comparable product. Use half of the bottle the night before, and the second half the morning of your procedure.
Before you shower:
- Remove any body piercings/jewelry
- Do not shave the area where your surgery will be for at least 48 hours before your surgery.
- Have the following freshly washed items ready:
- Clean sheets, blankets and pillow cases on your bed
- 2 sets of clean washcloths and towels – one set for your evening shower, the other for your shower the morning of surgery
- Clean pajamas for the evening
- Clean clothes for the morning
During your shower:
- Before you use the antibacterial solution, wash your hair with your regular shampoo. Rinse your hair thoroughly and do not use conditioner or any other leave-in styling products.
- Turn the water off to prevent rinsing the antibacterial soap off too soon.
- Using your hands or a clean washcloth, apply Hibiclens® to your entire body; from your neck to your toes.
- Apply the Hibiclens® gently for 3-5 minutes. Do not scrub your skin too hard.
- Be sure to clean the area where your surgical incision will be very well. If the surgical site will be in a place that is difficult to reach, you may consider having assistance to clean that area.
- If you are having a laparoscopic surgery, gently clean your belly button with Hibiclens on a cotton-tipped applicator.
- Rinse your body thoroughly with running water. Do not use any other soap on your skin.
- Pat yourself dry with a clean, absorbent towel.
- Do not use any lotion, powder, deodorant, perfume or aftershave on your skin after bathing with Hibiclens®.
Learn more about preparing for surgery here.