Dos and Donts in the Operation theatre on Day One for Postgraduates in COVID times

Dr. Nikita Pathare
Published Online: April 1st, 2021 | Read Time: 3 minutes, 27 seconds


  1. Change into OR scrubs and slippers. Make sure your OR cap and mask are separate from the one you have been wearing in OPD. Make sure to cover all strands of hair under the cap, especially for women. A clean shave is recommended for men to ensure a good fit for your N95 mask. Ensure proper usage of protective eyewear and a visor at all times.
  2. Wash hands/ use a Sanitizer before entering the OR.
  3. Learn to differentiate between sterile and non-sterile areas inside the theatre.
  4. Read about the procedures scheduled in the OR the previous day. For what the mind does not know, the eyes do not see.
  5. Know your operating microscope, foot controls, and instruments thoroughly.
  6. Learn to arrange the instrument trolley, paint, and drape the patient for surgery.
  7. Maintain adequate distance from the operation table during observation.
  8. Learn the 6 steps of handwashing and perform them for the prescribed amount of time depending on the concentration of Povidone-iodine in your institute.
  9. Maintain appropriate social distance at all times from your colleagues and patients and relatives as far as possible.
  10. Actively participate with seniors in pre-surgical time-out procedures and history taking of symptoms for COVID inpatient as well as family.


  1. Do not open the OR doors while a procedure is underway unless an absolute emergency arises.
  2. Avoid being inside the OR room during high transmission risk procedures such as induction of general anesthesia and extubation, unless you are required by the Anesthesia team.
  3. Do not open the OR doors for at least 10 minutes after a general anesthesia procedure
  4. Do not touch any surface unnecessarily. Sanitize your hands after touching any surface such as patient files, reports, door handles.
  5. Do not make any comments during the procedure that may cause unnecessary anxiety in your anesthetized, but awake patient.
  6. Do not remain inactive even on your first day. Actively participate in all procedures right from shifting patients to observing and assisting under the supervision of your seniors and faculty.
  7. Do not hesitate to ask any questions. You will only learn through curiosity.
  8. Do not attempt tasks without complete knowledge or supervision of your senior.
  9. Do not say or do anything that will disrespect your patient, colleague or senior.
  10. Do not skip any OR protocol set by your institution in these COVID times, even if no one is watching. They are for your own and patients’ safety. Moreover, integrity is what you do when no one is watching.

Stay curious, stay safe, and keep learning!

Dr. Nikita Pathare
Dr Nikita Pathare, completed her MBBS in 2013 from Seth GS Medical College and KEM hospital, Mumbai. She did her Diploma in Ophthalmology from RIO, Kolkata. She then went on to complete her DNB in Ophthalmology from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. She was awarded the Dr S Kanthimathynathan endowment Gold medal for best DNB student in Neurophthalmology and runner up medal in Best DNB student in basic Sciences for the year 2017. She has completed her FICO ( Glasgow) . She is currently pursuing her Clinical fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus and Neurophthalmology at LV Prasad eye institute, Hyderabad.
Share with your friends !
(Average Rating 5.0 Based on 1 rating)