How to Open a Sterile Kit 

Nursing Knowledge

How to Open a Sterile Kit 

Opening a sterile kit properly is a foundational skill in nursing to ensure sterility and prevent infection. Sterile kits contain medical supplies like gauze, scalpels, and forceps that have been specially packaged to remain free from microorganisms. Ensuring sterility is critical in various clinical procedures, from wound care to surgery. Recap the must-know points below.
Last updated: December 4, 2023

Table of contents

What is a sterile main kit? 

Sterile kits are prepackaged sets of sterile medical supplies required for a specific procedure. These kits are designed to provide healthcare professionals with all the necessary tools and materials they need in a sterile condition, all in one convenient package. This helps maintain sterility and reduces the risk of infection during the procedure. Using main kits also streamlines the preparation process.

What is in a sterile main kit? 

The contents of a sterile main kit will vary based on the procedure being performed but commonly include items like scalpels, forceps, gauze, sutures, and drapes. 

Types of sterile kits

Common sterile kits include: 

  • Sterile suture kits/sterile suture removal kits
  • Sterile dressing kits
  • Sterile catheter kits 

How to open a sterile kit 

Before opening the kit 

Before opening the sterile kit, inspect the package: 

  • Is there any wetness or soiled marks? 
  • Any tears or openings present? 
  • Check the expiration date
  • Is the sterile tape intact? 

Steps of opening a sterile kit 

  1. Perform hand hygiene.
  2. Remove the plastic covering of the package. 
  3. Place the package on a clean, dry, hard surface.
  4. Grasp and open the furthest flap away from your body.
  5. Grasp the side flap and open outward. Grasp the other side flap and open outward.
  6. Grasp the final flap and open it towards your body. 

Note: Do not lean over the sterile field. 

Why is sterility important? 

Sterility is crucial in nursing practice to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which are a significant concern for patient safety. About 1 in 31 hospital patients in the United States has at least one HAI on any given day (CDC), which leads to extended hospital stays, additional medical costs, and increased mortality. By maintaining a sterile environment during procedures, nurses can significantly reduce the risk of HAIs, improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.


How to Open a Sterile Kit 

Free Download

Nursing Cheat Sheet

Confidently walk into sterile procedures with this cheat sheet, detailing the steps to safely opening a sterile kit.

Master the topic with a unique study combination of a concise summary paired with video lectures. 

User Reviews