In consideration of adherence to antiseptic and aseptic principles in the operating or procedure room, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) recommends that jewellery not be worn on the hands, wrist, forearm or neck of those staff that are directly in the operative field

In regards to the wearing of Jewellery all hospitals, day surgeries and diagnostic facilities should ensure they have regulations pertinent to their individual circumstances.  

1.1. Hands, Wrist and Forearm

To allow for adequate antiseptic scrubbing of hands and forearms in preparation for gowning and gloving for surgery, diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, all hand, wrist and forearm jewellery and similar adornments should be removed

Where items of jewellery are hard to remove or are worn for reasons of religious beliefs or observance, arrangements need to be made to accommodate such observance without the need for wearing these items. 


1.2. Neck

Neck jewellery or other items worn around the neck should be removed unless there is no opportunity for the item (or attachments to the item) to come outside the confines of the sterile scrub suits. 


1.3. Any other jewellery

All staff in the operative field must ensure that any other jewellery not specified above, such as piercings with a stud or sleeper design, is confined within perioperative attire at all times or removed prior to surgery. 


1.4. Resources:

1.4.1. National Health and Medical Research Council (2010) Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare. Commonwealth of Australia.
1.4.2. New Zealand Ministry of Health. NZS 8134.3.2008 (2008) Health and Disability Services (Infection Prevention and Control) Standards.
1.4.3. The Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN). (2014). 2014-2015 ACORN Standards for Perioperative Nursing.
1.4.4. Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). (2015). Prevention of Healthcare Associated Infection in Surgery Position Paper



Associated documents

No documents associated with this position paper.