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Tips for Properly Using Gloves

The FDA recommends the use of medical gloves when your hands may touch someone else’s body fluids (such as blood, respiratory secretions, vomit, urine or feces), certain hazardous drugs or some potentially contaminated items. For maximum protection and your health and safety, it is important not only to choose the right type of gloves for your situation, but to use them properly.

There are three types of medical examination gloves:

Nitrile gloves (powder-free) are the most popular. They have a great tactile sensitivity technology with a fit that mimics the feel and comfort of latex. Since the FDA has banned powdered patient examination gloves, powder-free nitrile medical examination gloves have become the industry standard.

Latex gloves were once the market leader, but the rising cost of rubber and an increased awareness of latex allergies and sensitivities has encouraged the use of latex-free gloves.

Vinyl gloves are popular in the food industry or for short-term, low risk tasks. They are not as durable or protective, but they are a much less expensive option. The fit of vinyl gloves are looser than nitrile or latex glove but they are latex-free and have anti-static properties.

To ensure you use gloves properly, here are a few tips from the FDA:

  • Wash your hands before putting on sterile gloves.
  • Make sure your gloves fit properly for you to wear them comfortably during all patient care activities.
  • Some people are allergic to the natural rubber latex used in some medical gloves. FDA requires manufacturers to identify on the package labeling the materials used to make the gloves. If you or your patient is allergic to natural rubber latex, you should choose gloves made from other synthetic materials (such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nitrile, or polyurethane).
  • Be aware that sharp objects can puncture medical gloves.
  • Always change your gloves if they rip or tear.
  • After removing gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Never reuse medical gloves.
  • Never wash or disinfect medical gloves.
  • Never share medical gloves with others.

At MacGill, we are dedicated to providing nurses with a wide selection of medical examination gloves. Click here to shop our selection of gloves.

If you have any questions regarding medical examination gloves, please contact us.

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