Skip To Content

Site Logo

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

Appendix 3 - Surgical Scrubbing

Step by step images for surgical hand preparation technique using antimicrobial soap

Undertake Appendix 1 prior to starting scrub.

Wet hands and forearmsPut antimicrobial liquid soap onto the palm of each hand/arm using the elbow of your other arm to operate the dispenser.Rub hands palm to palm.  Steps 3-8 should take a minimum of 2 minutesRight palm over the back of the other hand with interlaced fingers and vice versaPalm to palm with fingers interlacedBacks of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlockedRotational rubbing of left thumb claped in right palm and vice versaRotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa.  Rinse hands between steps 8-9 passing them through the water in one direction only.Put antimicrobial liquid soap onto the palm of your left hand using the elbow of your other arm to operate the dispenser.  Use this to scrub the right arm for 1 minute using a rotational method keeping the hand higher than the arm at all times.Repeat the process for the other hand and arm keeping hands above elbows at all times.  If the hand touches anything at any time, the scrub must be lengthened by 1 minute for the area that has been contaminated.Rinse hands and arms by passing them through the water in one direction only, from fingertips to elbow.  Do not move the arm back and forth through the water.Hold hands above the elbow.  Use one sterile, disposable towel per hand and arm.  Blot the skin of the hand, then use a corkscrew movement to dry from the hand to the elbow.  The towel must not be returned to the hand onece the arm has been dried and must be discarded immediately.

* Nails should be cleaned using a soft, single-use disposable nail brush or nail pick before the first scrub of the day or if visibly dirty.  Any skin complaints should be referred to local occupational health or GP

Acknowledgement: With thanks to staff at the Golden Jubilee Foundation for their assistance producing this appendix.

November 2016