Medical Environment Update–Make sure your gloves aren’t contaminating you

By: January 7th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

The January issue of Medical Environment Update looks at glove use in ambulatory settings, and why proper training and work practices are essential for worker safety and infection control.

Unlike some forms of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gowns, glasses, or masks, which are used during particular situations, medical gloves are used many times per day, especially in a physician or dental office. But that everyday routine can result in small details going unnoticed.

“They can’t see, hear, taste, or feel microorganisms, and because of that, people get a little less compliant,” says Lori Jensen, RN, a clinical consultant at Ansell Health in Red Bank, NJ. “It’s like being in the OR. The first time you break sterility, you think, ‘I’ll never do that again.’ But if you do it once, it comes a little bit easier and a little bit easier.

For more on glove education, check out the glove safety video clip or download “Healthcare worker medical glove checklist” from the Tools page.

This month’s issue also includes:

  • OSHA posts more interpretation letters on blood exposures including the requirement to provide lancets with safety devices and how to ensure upright positioning of sharps containers
  • OSHA recordkeeping exemptions for medical and dental offices
  • A report on reduced needlestick injuries due to legislation and availability of safety devices, and a study showing female healthcare workers are hit hardest by allergies
  • Self-inspection checklist for weekly, monthly, semiannual, and annul health and safety program maintenance
  • An EPA rule to streamline drug waste disposal for healthcare facilities
  • Ask the expert Q&As on handwashing surveillance, medical records contaminated with blood, and not falling for every sales pitch referencing OSHA
 

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