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Like most medical tools and supplies, protective gloves protect the wearer from harmful microorganisms, chemicals, and other substances. Additionally, safety gloves also help create a cleaner, much healthier environment for everyone in the business. They ensure the protection of the wearer and patients/ visitors in the facility.
While these are useful to a great extent, there is a wrong way to wear disposable gloves. Wearing your safety gloves the wrong way impacts the gloves’ ability to provide protection. Therefore, it is vital to follow the appropriate practices of wearing disposable gloves to ensure ample protection.
Here are the seven best practices you should know and follow to maximize barrier protection from safety gloves.
Washing your hands before putting on your medical gloves is essential to ensure proper hand hygiene. While some might not know this critical step, others will usually ignore it. Nonetheless, skipping this step presents dangers like the spread of contaminants and disease.
Not washing your hands properly with antibacterial soap and water increases your chances of contaminating the gloves’ surface. You need to touch the gloves with your bare hands when putting them on. And if the gloves tear, you might end up spreading more germs.
So, wash your hands with soap and water to ensure both your hands and gloves are clean. Follow the standard hand-washing techniques by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Quickly inspect the pair of disposable gloves before wearing them. You want to check for cracks, pinholes, and punctures.
Toss the gloves away if someone previously used them or if there are any rips or tears. You should do the same if your gloves wear out. If you already touched the gloves, wash your hands before grabbing another pair.
Choosing the perfect-looking pair is an essential rule for wearing disposable gloves.
It is a common misconception that disposable gloves will protect you from germs as long as you wear them. However, safety gloves can only keep off germs and other harmful substances for a few hours of simulated use.
According to the CDC, you should replace your gloves with a new pair after four hours of maximum use. Remember, these gloves come with a defect rate and degrade over time. Ideally, you should replace disposable gloves as soon as you notice them wearing out. If they don’t look as good as new, it is time to dispose of your gloves.
In simpler terms, the quicker you replace them, the better the protection they have.
Although rare, some assume that washing disposable gloves makes them as good as new. But remember, disposable safety gloves are ‘disposable’ for a reason. It would help if you disposed of your single-use gloves as soon as you take them off.
Washing disposable gloves with soap and water does not eliminate the contaminants. Your gloves will be full of harmful substances even after a wash. Not forgetting, you will promote the spread of germs, bacteria, and other harmful substances when attempting to wash them.
Furthermore, it is critical to remember that gloves degrade over time. They cannot possibly provide the same protection, no matter how good they wash them.
Again, washing your hands before wearing a new pair of gloves is the most important and effective step for ensuring maximum glove safety. It will significantly prevent the spread of contaminants and disease.
So, if you see your gloves tear and want to replace them with new ones, wash your hands first. Cleaning your hand while changing gloves helps prevent contamination of new gloves and the spread of disease.
The best way to wash your hands between glove changes is to dispose of your gloves before going to the sink. Then, follow the same CDC guidelines for washing your hands properly. Once done, you’re ready to put on a new pair.
Besides considering the quality of your disposable gloves, you should also consider their size. If your disposable safety gloves don’t fit your hands perfectly, the integrity of their application gets highly compromised.
Loose-fitted disposable gloves can easily slip off your hands or make it harder to grip something. On the other hand, tight gloves will cause hand fatigue, and you won't be able to perform your job. In both cases, disposable safety gloves cannot provide the protection they’re supposed to.
So, choose a close fit that is not too loose or right. The right-sized will ensure both comfort and protection. And don’t worry, finding a close fit for your hands is easy and will only require a bit of time the first time.
Even today, many people are unaware of the different types of gloves available on the market. Usually, they purchase whatever types of gloves first catch their eye. While this is a norm in the healthcare industry, picking the right type of gloves for you can change the game.
For example, many unknowingly have a latex allergy. Usually, people cannot recognize their allergies until many months or years later. If you suspect you suffer from a latex allergy, it will help to choose safety glove alternatives such as those made with vinyl, nitrile, or CPE (cast polyethylene).
Immediate itchiness, dry and crusty skin, wheezing, and facial swelling are all common latex allergy symptoms.
Disposable safety gloves are critical personal protective equipment useful for protecting the wearer from harmful substances. They help prevent the spread of illnesses and contaminants, creating a clean and healthy environment. However, you may not be wearing your gloves correctly. Follow the practices mentioned above to ensure maximum barrier protection.