Before surgery, the nurses and other members of the operating room staff work together to ensure that each detail on a checklist is complete before the surgeon begins. Here are only a few of the details that are typically addressed.


Those who are involved with the surgery will verify who they are and the role they play in the operating room. The patient’s name is also on the pre-operative checklist as the staff needs to make sure the correct person is in the room at the scheduled time. When the patient arrives in the operating room, they are usually asked to state their name and the type of surgery if possible.


The pre-operative checklist will typically include the details of the surgery from the location on the body to the type of incision that’s planned. There could also be notes about a backup plan in the event that something needs to be changed or if something were to go wrong. Marking will usually be performed after this information is verified so that the surgeon clearly sees where to operate.


The anesthesiologist will review the medications that will be given to put the patient to sleep and any medications that the patient has been taking, especially those that were taken the morning of the procedure. Antibiotics are usually given through the IV to help prevent infection. Any allergies to medications should be noted as well as a plan of action in the event that a reaction does occur.

Learn more about this type of checklist by contacting Checklist Boards.