Aseptic Non-Touch Technique - Background & Overview



Reviewed by Guidelines Committee
October 2011
Clinical Guidelines Back Newborn Services Home Page

Associated Docs





To ensure a standard, safe and efficient aseptic technique is used.


All nursing staff


Whenever an aseptic procedure is required, for example:

Associated Documents

The table below indicates other documents and sources associated with this recommended best practice.


Document Title(s)

Board Policies
Infection Control
Starship Clinical
  • Roberts, L et al. (1998) Compliance of hand washing practices: theory verses practice. Australian Health Review. 21(4) 238
  • Rowley, S, & Sinclair, S. (2004). Working towards an NHS standard for aseptic non-touch technique. Nursing Times. 24; 100(8) p5052.
  • Rowley, S. (2001) Aseptic Non-Touch Technique. Nursing Times. 97(7) )Infection Control Supplement) VI-VII
  • Toles, A. (2002). Artificial nails: Are they putting patients at risk? A review of the research. Journal of Paediatric Oncology Nursing. 19(5): 164-171.
  • Royal College of Nursing (2005) Standards for Infusion Therapy. RCN, London
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter – related infections. MMWR 2002, 51 (no. RR – 10)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for hand hygiene in healthcare settings: Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the GICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. MMWR 2002, 51 (no. RR – 16)


Sterile techniques are not achievable:

Aseptic Techniques are achievable:

For an infection to occur there must be contamination by a sufficient number of virulent, pathogenic organisms. Therefore, a technique that prevents such a level of pathogenic organisms from entering a patient is a safe technique. Such a technique is most accurately termed an ‘aseptic technique’, as the word asepsis means, ‘freedom from infection or infectious (pathogenic) material’.

Non-Touch Technique is part of asepsis

A non-touch-techniqu i.e. being able to identify the ‘key-parts’ and not touching them either directly or indirectly is perhaps the single most important component of achieving asepsis.

Aseptic Non-Touch Technique (ANTT)

Aseptic Non-Touch Technique (ANTT) is a technique that maintains asepsis and is non-touch in nature.

In a logical order, staff identifies and protects the key-parts of any procedure, performs effective hand hygiene, institutes a non-touch technique, and wears the appropriate standard precautions (generally non-sterile gloves).

The critical components are:

Note: use latex free gloves for patients with or at risk of latex allergy.

General Preparation

To prevent accidental contamination, hair should be tied back, and lanyards removed or tucked in prior to commencing an aseptic non-touch technique.

Hand Hygiene

An antiseptic 30 sec handwash with 4% chlorhexidine or handrub with alcohol based product as described by Infection Control.

No artificial nails or chipped nail polish are permitted due to risk of microbial contamination.

A single banded ring only is permitted.

Key Part

Key parts are defined as those parts which if contaminated by infectious material increase the risk of infection.

In IV therapy, key parts are usually parts of equipment which come into direct contact with the liquid infusion eg. Needles, syringe tips, IV line connections, exposed central line lumens, etc.

When to Wear Sterile Gloves

If it is impossible to perform a procedure without touching the key-parts then sterile gloves should be worn.

Sterile gloves may also be worn for particularly difficult procedures or those that take a significant amount of time as the potential for accidental direct/indirect contamination is increased.

Cleaning Solutions

Wipe down trolley top or surface used with 70% Alcohol Surface disinfecting wipes.

If body fluid present, clean the surface with soap and water and then a 70% alcohol wipe.

Clean key parts with 2% chlorhexidine and 70% alcohol wipes or sterile gauze swabs soaked in 2% chlorhexidine and 10% alcohol and allow to dry for 30 seconds.


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