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How to put on and put off personal protective equipment?

Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is an important part of infection control. One such commonly used personal protective equipment is gloves. These are disposable and must be used only once. Gloves are generally made up of vinyl or nitrile rubber and must be disposed of after each use. Nurses must wear gloves whenever they come in contact with any infectious substance like body fluid, etc., or come close to the patient.

Another example of Personal Protective Equipment is gown. These are made up of very thin fabric which is resistant to water and are meant to be used only once. Proper care must be taken to dispose it off after using it. Whenever a CNA needs to come in contact with a patient who has been isolated, s/he must wear a gown.

Other PPEs which are used to cover eyes and mouth of CNAs are goggles and face masks, respectively. Germs enter our body via open body parts like eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Therefore, proper care must be taken to cover them up and stop infection from spreading.

Steps to Don Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs)

As a part of infection control, the below steps must be followed along with wearing personal protective equipments:

  • Properly rinse your hands with antiseptic soap and lukewarm water and dry them with a towel.
  • You need to wear the gown in an appropriate way. The opening of this gown must be at your back and the closed portion must come in front. Tie the strings up at your neck and waist firmly.
  • You need to apply face mask and goggles over your face. They must be of correct size and must cover up your face properly.
  • After covering your face, wear gloves in your hands. The cuffs of your gloves must cover your wrists. The end of the gloves must go over your gown sleeves so that your skin does not remain exposed.

Steps to Put Off Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs)

As there are proper steps to wear the personal protective equipments, similarly, correct steps must be followed to remove them.

  • Firstly, remove your gloves. Ensure that you dispose them off in a receptacle.
  • Secondly, remove your gown and dispose it off properly as you did your gloves.
  • Next, remove the face mask and goggle, dispose them off too.
  • Finally, wash your hands properly with antiseptic soap and lukewarm water. Dry them using a towel.

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Points to Remember

  • Ensure that you have tied your gown properly.
  • Your vision must not be interrupted by use of goggles.
  • The gloves must be properly pulled up, so as to cover your entire hands.
  • All items must be disposed correctly.
  • Wash your hands after completion of the entire procedure.

What does examiner notice when you perform this skill?

List of things that an examiner notices when you perform this skill are:

  • Whether you wash your hands properly before wearing personal protective equipments.
  • Before entering the isolation room, if you don proper protection equipments like faces masks, gloves and gown.
  • Whether you trash PPE properly after use.
  • Do you wash hands after disposing the PPE?

Expert’s Tips

  • Wearing of Personal Protective Equipments is important. Wearing one glove / 1 gown / 1 face mask is sufficient, so you must never attempt to wear more than one type of item like two gloves together. This might terrify the patients.
  • Always wash your hands before and after the procedure to ward off infection.