Use Personal Protective Equipment

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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.




Plastic Gloves prevent contamination of healthcare professionals’ hands and help reduce the spread of pathogens only if:

  1. They are used properly; and

  2. Hand hygiene is performed before and after wear.

It’s important to know that gloves do not provide complete protection from hand contamination. That’s why hand hygiene is so important before and after glove use!


The World Health Organization recommends that you clean your hands and put gloves on:

  1. Before a sterile procedure

  2. When you think you’ll come in contact with blood or another bodily fluid

  3. When you’re going to care for a patient during contact precautions


Take gloves off and clean your hands:

  1. As soon as gloves are damaged or punctured

  2. When your contact with blood or bodily fluid has ended

  3. When your contact with a single patient and his/her surroundings has ended

  4. When there is a need for hand hygiene



Disposable Gowns are classified by their ability to withstand penetration by blood or body fluids. Gowns used in 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.


Masks and respirators

When worn correctly, Disposable Face 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.



Microbial contaminants found on the work clothing of health professionals are a significant factor in cases of healthcare-associated infections (Wilson et al, 2007). Disposable, single-use plastic Disposable Aprons are therefore recommended for general clinical use when close contact with the patient, materials or equipment may lead to contamination of uniforms or other clothing with microorganisms, or when there is a risk of contamination with blood or bodily fluids. If there is the possibility of extensive splashing of blood or bodily fluids onto the skin or clothes of health professionals, fluid-repellent full-body gowns should be worn (Loveday et al, 2014).


Apron selection

In England, apron selection is to be based on the procedure or task being undertaken. A colour coding system is used:

  • Yellow – when cleaning isolation areas;

  • Blue – when undertaking general cleaning, including wards and basins in public areas;

  • Red – when cleaning bathrooms, washrooms, toilets, basins and bathroom floors;

  • Green – when working in catering departments, ward kitchen areas and patient food service at ward level (National Patient Safety Agency, 2007). Local policies should be consulted.


As the name suggests, these are Disposable Bibss that are disposed of immediately after use. They serve the same function as any other adult bib except they are disposable. You just need to put it on your patient, do the required activity and once you are done take it off and dispose of it. Simple right?

These kinds of bibs are commonly made of two materials, paper and plastic. The paper part of it is the soft tissue like part whose main function is to absorb liquids that may spill on it. The same material plastic bags are made of. This material in the disposable bib gives it its waterproof ability. It is the part of the bib that prevents any liquid substance from transferring to the client’s clothes.

There are different kinds of disposable bibs and each of them has its unique characteristics. There are the slip-on bibs, which as the name suggests you just slip it on. And there are also those that have ties that are to be tied behind the user’s neck to secure it in position.

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