It is important for healthcare professionals to properly wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Learn about the different types of PPE and how to wear them.
Gloves prevent contamination of healthcare professionals’ hands and help reduce the spread of pathogens only if:
- They are used properly; and
- Hand hygiene is performed before and after wear.
Make sure you know the “Do’s and Don’ts” for wearing gloves in the healthcare environment.
The World Health Organization recommends that you clean your hands and put gloves on:
- Before a sterile procedure
- When you think you’ll come in contact with blood or another bodily fluid
- When you’re going to care for a patient during contact precautions
Take gloves off and clean your hands:
- As soon as gloves are damaged or punctured
- When your contact with blood or bodily fluid has ended
- When your contact with a single patient and his/her surroundings has ended
- When there is a need for hand hygiene
Remember: NEVER wear the same pair of gloves for the care of more than one patient!
Gowns are classified by their ability to withstand penetration by blood or body fluids. Gowns used in the healthcare settings are defined and classified by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.
- An isolation gown is a non-sterile gown used to keep clothing from getting contaminated. These are fluid resistant enough to keep body fluids away from clothing for a short period of time. Used for care of patients on contact precautions and for splash-generating procedures. May be disposable or non-disposable.
- A procedure gown is a non-sterile, usually disposable gown that may be fluid resistant or fluid impermeable, depending on the amount of body fluids involved in the procedure. Some examples where impermeable gowns should be worn include during endoscopy or assisting in vaginal birth.
Make sure you know the “Do’s and Don’ts” for wearing gowns in non-surgical healthcare settings.
Masks and respirators
When worn correctly, procedure masks and N95 respirators protect you from droplets and particles that could be infectious.
- A procedure mask (also called an isolation mask) is a disposable mask that protects the wearer from droplets that might be infectious. A version of this mask with a built-in face shield to protect against splashes is also available.
- An N95 respirator is a tight-fitting cover that when properly fitted to the face protects the wearer from very small particles that float in the air, such as TB, measles, and chickenpox. An N95 respirator is intended to provide more protection than a procedure mask.
Learn more and share:
- Do’s & don’ts for wearing gloves in the healthcare environment—APIC
- Do’s & don’ts for wearing N95 respirators in non-surgical healthcare settings—APIC
- Do’s & don’ts for wearing procedure masks in non-surgical healthcare settings—APIC
- Glove use pamphlet—The World Health Organization
- Hand hygiene—Why, how and when?—The World Health Organization