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Case Studies

Nursing Ladder Study

Hospital – Towson, MD

OR infection risk is a constant topic of conversation in hospitals. Many OR staff feel that their environment can never be clean enough. Two rising Nurse Leaders took it upon themselves to do a study in their Operating room and Central Sterile Processing to prove their hypothesis that their rooms were not being cleaned throughly enough.

First, they used fluorescent markers to designate areas that were suspected of being missed in regular cleaning protocols. After a few weeks of repeated marker application, and follow up examination, the data showed that surfaces were not being cleaned according to their expectations.


The next step was to take microbiology swab samples of the same surfaces, which were not being cleaned, in order to verify unacceptable contamination. Micro test results revealed little to no bacteria CFU’s, and not a single pathogen. Since behavior observation, as well as follow up fluorescent marker testing both pointed to an unacceptable level of bioburden in the environment, the pair of intrepid young leaders were perplexed. They sought the advice of Infection Prevention to help them reconcile these incongruous data.


Infection Prevention, then told them about Vytis Shield. Their hospital had a barrier of protection that continues to kill, even between cleaning events. So, when human beings did not prove to be perfect, their Operating room surfaces touched by patients and staff were still protected.


We wish the enterprising Nurses all the best in presenting their findings to the larger OR community. You will have to wait till next year’s rescheduled AORN meeting to see their work for yourself!

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