Skip navigation

Swab and instrument count practice: ways to enhance patient safety

Swab and instrument count practice: ways to enhance patient safety

Smith, Yvonne and Burke, Linda (2014) Swab and instrument count practice: ways to enhance patient safety. British Journal of Nursing, 23 (11). pp. 590-593. ISSN 0966-0461 (doi:

Full text not available from this repository.


This article presents the results of an audit of swab and instrument count practices in the operating department of a large hospital NHS Trust in South East England. A literature review of the subject is presented followed by the methodology used including questionnaires and observation of practice. Findings are discussed in terms of compliance with the department's swab and instrument count policy and observed practice mapped against the recommendations for best practice in the literature. The findings show that audit of practice is still treated with suspicion by many and that a number of practices of scrub and circulating personnel in operating theatres need to be improved. Recommendations are made related to improving staff development in the department and introducing clinical supervision as one way to provide support for colleagues to reflect on their practice and change to more evidence-based practices in the operating department.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: operating department, evidence-based practice, clinical audit, clinical supervision, swab counts
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:28
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item