PPE is a Hot Commodity

BY: Angelica Minoia

PPE is Not a Fashion Statement

Right now with the current coronavirus pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) is a hot topic. With that being said, it’s rare that you see someone out in public without some form of PPE whether it is a mask, gloves, or a combination of both. Outside of the global pandemic, healthcare professionals have always had to sport some sort of PPE. We will be going over some guidelines for PPE compliance in the healthcare industry. These tips can also be useful for people outside of the healthcare industry in the current climate.

Tip #1 – Knowing what type of PPE to wear

There are several different types of PPE that can be worn, and it can get confusing to know type of PPE is correct for the job being done. This means that healthcare professionals need to think of the type of exposure they are anticipating, if the PPE is durable enough for the task, and fit.

Gloves – Must be made out of latex, vinyl, and nitril.

Gowns/Aprons – If limited contamination is anticipated, choose an apron. If there is contamination of the arms anticipated, choose a gown.   Gown/Aprons must be made of cotton or synthetic materials that can be laundered. If not, they must be made of a disposable material. Healthcare professionals should take note if they need fluid resistant gowns or aprons.

Tip #2 – How to properly wear your PPE

As mentioned before, fit is of utmost importance when it comes to donning PPE. Healthcare professionals employer must provide PPE that fits their workforce. In addition to fit, it is also important to know when to change or replace your PPE.

Gloves – Gloves must fit well and have no rips or tears. If the healthcare professional has open wounds, they must wear two pairs of gloves.

Gowns/Aprons – Gowns should always cover the torso and fit comfortably with long sleeves that are tight at the wrist.

Face Protection – A mask should cover the nose and mouth and fit snug. Goggles should fit snug. An anti-fog feature will prevent fogging. Face shields should cover the forehead, below the chin, and around the sides of the face.

Tip #3 – How to dispose of or clean your PPE

The last component of PPE that needs to be considered is how to dispose of or clean your PPE. Knowing when and how to clean your PPE can help prevent the spread of disease.

Gloves – Dispose of gloves after each task. Be sure to dispose of gloves when they touch your body or surfaces. Change your gloves between patients. Discard them in the appropriate receptacle and do not wash them or reuse them.

Gowns/Aprons – Knowing whether a gown needs to be clean or sterile. If you are tasked with an invasive procedure, the gown needs to be sterilized after use.

Face Protection – Be sure to dispose of your masks after each use. With face shields and goggles, using a wipe or cloth soaked in EPA registered hospital disinfectant.

To learn more about PPE Compliance, visit our compliance page and give us a call at 716-817-8858.