Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
There can be no more treacherous territory for a new third-year medical
student than the operating room, in the middle of the sterile field. The slightest
inappropriate touch, slip of hand, or bend of head can mean temporary banishment
from the case by the surgeon, scrub nurse, or resident, as well as admonitory
remarks about the designated sterile field. Eager for real medicine after
two years of textbook study, I was enjoying the first week of my third year
and looked forward to the big surgical case scheduled for that evening. I
meticulously scrubbed, gowned, and gloved, then tried to stay out of the way
while the surgeons carefully draped the patient with several green towels
and large blue drapes. Calculating each movement to avoid contaminating myself,
I took my place among the sterile green ranks and the operation began.
Linebarger HV. The Blue Drape. JAMA. 1999;282(3):216. doi:10.1001/jama.282.3.216