Wearing gloves in the hospital helps prevent the spread of germs. This helps protect both patients and health care workers from infection.
Gloves create a barrier between germs and your hands. They help keep your hands clean and lessen your chance of getting germs that can make you sick.
Wear gloves every time you will be touching blood, body fluids, body tissues, mucous membranes, or broken skin. Even if a patient seems healthy and has no signs of any germs, you should still wear gloves for this sort of contact.
Gloves are called personal protective equipment (PPE). Other types of PPE are gowns, masks, and shoe and head covers.
Containers of disposable gloves should be available in any room or area where patient care takes place.
They come in different sizes, so make sure you choose the right size for a good fit.
Some cleaning and care procedures require sterile or surgical gloves.Sterile means "free from germs."These gloves come in numbered sizes (5.5 - 9). You will need to know your size ahead of time.
If you will be handling chemicals, check the material safety data sheet to see what kind of glove you will need.
Do not use oil-based hand creams or lotions unless they are approved for use with latex gloves.
If you have a latex allergy, use non-latex gloves and avoid contact with other products that contain latex.
When you take the gloves off, make sure the outside of the gloves does not touch your bare hands. Follow these steps:
Always use new gloves for each patient, and wash your hands between patients to avoid passing germs.
Infection control. In: Mills JE, ed. Nursing Procedures. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 2.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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