Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Anita Esquerra-Zwiers, Nursing; Carol Shaffer, MSN, RN, CNS, Surgical Services Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

Document Type


Event Date



Operating rooms (ORs) are one of the most aseptic environments in the hospital, but factors such as traffic caused by surgical personnel are associated with surgical site infections. This study proposes to evaluate the mean number of door swings per case among those trafficking the OR and reasons for entry and exit. This study will apply Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory, as this theory focuses on factors within the environment that can affect the patient’s outcome which is the main objective of this study. This observational study comes from log data (n= 71) of monitored scheduled surgical cases including the time, which door was used, direction of entry/exit, the personnel responsible, the reason for entry or exit of the OR, and number of doors swings total for each case at a non-profit Midwest hospital. Data analysis using descriptive statistics was conducted with SPSS. Limitations include the awareness of surgical personnel (Hawthorne effect), contradictions between data documentation, and technical limitations within the collection tools. The analysis of the data indicated a large percentage of OR traffic due to the role of the circulating RN (20%), surgical techs (17%), and OR assistants (10%). The greatest percentage of OR traffic was due to unknown reasons (33%). These results indicate the need to expand reasons for entry and exit in the observation tool. Further studies may reveal behaviors within the OR nurse population that may need to be altered in addition to ways nurses can encourage other surgical personnel to monitor their trafficking behaviors.