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The Guideline for Surgical Attire was approved by the AORN Guidelines Advisory Board and became effective as of February 22, 2024. Information about the systematic review supporting this guideline, including the PROSPERO registration number, systematic review questions, description of the search strategy and evidence review, PRISMA 2020 flow diagram, evidence rating model, and evidence summary table is available at


This document provides guidance to perioperative team members for wearing surgical attire (ie, long sleeves, cover apparel, head coverings, shoes) in semi-restricted and restricted areas; laundering scrub apparel; cleaning identification badges, stethoscopes, and personal items such as backpacks, briefcases, cell phones, and electronic tablets; and determining attire for visitors to the perioperative area.

Surgical attire and personal protective equipment (PPE) are worn to provide a high level of cleanliness and hygiene in the perioperative environment and to promote patient and worker safety. Reducing the patient’s exposure to microorganisms that are shed from the skin and hair of perioperative personnel may reduce the patient’s risk for surgical site infection (SSI).

Personal items, such as electronic devices, cell phones, stethoscopes, and briefcases, brought into the semi-restricted and restricted areas can harbor potentially pathogenic bacteria, and frequent contact of these items with provider’s hands can facilitate transfer of bacteria.

This document does not address patient clothing or linens used in health care facilities. The use of masks and other PPE are outside the scope of this document; the reader should refer to the AORN Guideline for Sterile Technique1  and the AORN Guideline for Transmission-Based Precautions2  for additional information. The wearing of rings, bracelets, watches, nail polish, artificial nails, or other nail enhancements is outside the scope of this document; the reader should refer to the AORN Guideline for Hand Hygiene3  for additional information.

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