Aseptic technique refers to a procedure that is performed under sterile conditions. This includes medical and laboratory techniques, such as with cultures. It includes techniques like flame sterilization. The largest example of aseptic techniques is in hospital operating theatres.
Aseptic technique is the effort taken to keep patients as free from hospital micro-organisms as possible (Crow 1989). It is a method used to deter wounds and other susceptible sites from organisms that could cause infection. This can be achieved by ensuring that only sterile equipment and fluids are used during invasive medical and nursing procedures. Ayliffe et al. (2000) suggest that there are two types of asepsis: medical and surgical asepsis. Medical or clean asepsis reduces the number of organisms and prevents their spread; surgical or sterile asepsis includes procedures to eliminate micro-organisms from an area and is practiced by surgical technologists and nurses in operating theaters and treatment areas. In an operating room, while all members of the surgical team should demonstrate good aseptic technique, it is the role of the scrub nurse or surgical technologist to set up and maintain the sterile field.